• Laurel Contributor

Slow Down a Bit

by Mary Jane McCall

Leroy Carpenter’s “Creation Praises God” is a valentine to the beauty and wonder that informs life in this corner of corner of the world.

Born in Rabun County, Georgia, and raised in Northeast Georgia and Western North Carolina, Leroy Carpenter, like so many of us, appreciated the beauty and wonder of God’s creation from an early age.

Unlike many of us, he has a uniquely poetic turn and would often jot down his thoughts on life, a sunset, a snowflake, or wildlife. With a poet’s vision and the encouragement of his wife, Marilyn, those thoughts were eventually gathered into a book of poetry, “Creation Praises God.”

As the title suggests, “Creation Praises God” is Leroy’s gentle reminder that wonder surrounds us and we should slow down, appreciate the beauty and take time to reflect on what really matters. His poems tell many tales of the majesty of nature, the gripping silence of a snow storm, the beauty of the stars, the aerial acrobatics of a squirrel, and, in one of his favorites, the enduring lessons parents and adults can teach their children. “A Parent’s Influence” could be a tiny pocket reference to remember those values that make a child’s life truly rich.

This little gem of a book is also a visual feast with carefully chosen pictures and drawings that beautifully illustrate the subject matter. This is a deeply personal work and a labor of love so it matters that the author’s words are accompanied by meaningful pictures and illustrations. Marilyn Carpenter actually took several of the shots that bring the pages to life. She has quite the eye for catching life’s tender moments and the beauty of our area. One of their fellow church members sketched the drawings as a gift. The remaining stunning nature photography was taken by Amy Ammons Garza.

While much of the poetry invokes majesty and contemplation, there are some that take a more jovial stab at life so in Leroy’s own words, “if it seems to you that life’s getting shorter, don’t you think that maybe you ‘orter” slow down a bit.”

Slow down a bit and enjoy this charming book. Copies are available at The Toy Store, and the Highland Hiker in Highlands; at Mountain Junction General Store and Poss Realty in Scaly Mountain; or by calling (828) 526-3610.

Leroy and his wife, Marilyn still live in Scaly Mountain, where Leroy works as a carpenter and writes poetry; and both still enjoy the


By Leroy Carpenter

The sun goes down, the air grows still

There’s the sound of frogs and a whippoorwill

The toil and strife of this day’s done

It’s time to think on tomorrow’s sun

Twilight descents, everything’s calm

Darkness covers like a soothing balm

The day’s been long, we need some rest

From work and worry, rush and stress

This time was made for rest and sleep

Putting aside our cares for quiet and peace So close your eyes and give God praise

And refresh yourself for another day

The Laurel Magazine

Laurel Magazine is a monthly magazine guiding you where to shop, play, dine, and stay in Highlands NC and Cashiers NC.

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