Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Legacy - A New Season is Coming!!!
It’s been several years since "Just a Season" and it’s time to move on. Generations have and gone, life is bearable after all, and hope lives in a little boy and in a man who almost lost all hope.
It's been said that there are no words that have not been spoken and no stories that have never been told but there are some that you cannot forget! "Legacy - A New Season" is the perfect compliment to that statement. It is the sequel and the continuation of "Just a Season" and a stand-alone story rich in history on a subject rarely explained to children of this generation concerning the African American struggle.
This long awaited suga to the epic novel "Just a Season" will take you on an awe inspiring journey through the African American Diaspora, as told by a loving grandfather to his grandson in the oral African tradition at a time when America changed forever.
I would like to thank the great Woody Woods for the background music.
If you were to reexamine the time in which you’ve lived, you will come to know that the reason we live is to die. The question then becomes what happens between the years of one’s birth and death. This is without question a quandary that each of us will face. In the novel I referred to this specific period of earthly existence as the dash that will be placed on our final marker between the beginning and end dates of life’s journey. This period of time can only be characterized as a journey because this tiny little dash represents the whole of your life.
It’s been said, there are no words that have not been spoken and there are no stories that have never been told, but there are some you will not forget! Legacy - A New Season is that story. It chronicles what has been called a contemporary “Roots” with a reviewer saying “this is the stuff movies are made of... I have not read anything that so succinctly chronicles an African American story.” Another reviewer said, “Not since The Color Purple have I read a book that evoked such emotions… transports the reader directly into the life and struggles of the main characters..."
I am honored to have been chosen to channel such an epic saga. With that said, I am reminded of a powerful statement once made during a sermon by my childhood pastor - Reverend Cole. He said, “Unless and until you suffer enough pain, then and only then, will you reach deep inside and feel the breath that God has breathed into your soul coming eye to eye with your destiny”. I’ve pondered that profound statement my entire life and it continues to deeply impact my life.
It could very well be because I lost my only son that I have come to embrace this message so profoundly. There have been a number of reflections from those early days at Friendly Church that continue to touch my spirit. Specifically: “Why Jesus wept?” As the story goes, Jesus was so moved as he witnessed the pain of Mary and Martha weeping for the loss of his dear friend, Lazarus, that he also wept. Today, I understand that emotion because I have felt such pain. This might explain why I was chosen as the vehicle to share such a powerful story that will surely live far beyond the season I’ve been given.
Just a Season is a historical narrative that began with a grief-stricken father visiting the gravesite of his beloved son who was killed in a tragic automobile accident. A dreadful moment no loving parent should ever have to face. The story begins with the main character, John Wells, asking himself a philosophical question as he views his late son’s final marker. “If the tiny dash placed on my marker were to tell my life’s story, what would it say?"
What emerged from the pages is a legacy of true benevolence and grace that I believe is destined to be become a literary classic. This luminous story is a riveting portrait into the life of an African American man who, in the midst of pain and loss, journeys back in time to reexamine all the important people, events, circumstances, and intellectual fervor that contributed to the richness of his life. Moreover, the main character relives all of the significant events affecting the African American Diaspora, over a fifty-year period, providing a perspective of reality to the unfolding history.
As the story ends, as if in the blink of an eye, John reflects upon life’s journey realizeing that it is very interesting how we come into the world crying while all around us are smiling. Then we leave the world smiling while everybody around us weeps. This thought causes him to recall another powerful sermon Reverend Cole gave explaining this phenomenon in the simplest of terms. The Good Reverend said, “This period of existence we call life in the final analysis is "Just a Season.
Then with a deep sigh realizing that the story must end, as stories do, he leaves the cemetery slowly walking past his loved ones resting for eternity; pausing briefly to look back in the direction of his son’s resting place and say, “I will always love you.
As he nears the crest of the hill walking into the abyss of time, pausing at his grandfather’s resting place, seemingly unable to take the next step. With tears flowing down his face, he gently touches the headstone of his grandfather and quietly asks him “to look after my son”. At that moment, he fondly recalls the last thing his grandfather said; “life is not just a race you run. It is a relay. It is now your responsibility to pass the baton.” Somehow, John finds the strength to look toward the heavens saying softly that “I have to be Granddaddy now. I just hope my grandson will love me as much as I loved you. More importantly, I must make sure that he tells his grandchildren about me.
It’s been several years since receiving the epiphany leading me to tell the story of this man’s epic journey that many have wondered if it was a true story, miracle, a blessing, or simply a fairy tale. I will only say "Just a Season” is a must-read story that reflects the audacity of hope, pain, and struggle of a people that will most assuredly touch every emotion as you travel through time, as you relive a life through the eyes of an African American man living in America.
In the end, John sorrowfully leaves the cemetery at Friendly Church that day feeling as if God has forsaken him. But his conviction is strong in faith and he knows that faith is the instrument to believe true what is not seen. With all the strength within, he refuses to drown in his tears; rather he is committed to swim in his blessings because God has not forsaken him and the wonders of life spoke loudly. Blessed are those who believe and have not seen which is tomorrow and tomorrow holds his Legacy and A New Season...
John T. Wills