BLADENBORO — Bladenboro resident and Robeson County school guidance counselor Sara Lennon has released another book, the second in what she hopes will become a series.
“I try to incorporate three or four things when I write,” Lennon explained. “I try to make it a guidance lesson, an old mountain adage, something in nature that we normally overlook the beauty of, and Christian principles.”
The Legend of the Spanish Moss tells the story of a young Native American who, born with an unusual head of hair, prides herself on her locks and believes herself to be superior to those around her. She is warned by a “common crow” that she may one day need to the people she shuns, and the crow’s prophecy is fulfilled when she gets her hair caught in some Cypress branches and needs both the crow and her tribe to rescue her from dangers in the swamp. She discovers the crow was right when he said, “Never burn your bridges…” and that pride does nothing but bring isolation.
Her inspiration for the story came from her own memories.
“We have a place at Ocean Isle, and when my sons were little, we used to walk down Goss Landing there,” she remarked. “We would walk up and down this street where George Washington had breakfast with William Goss, and there’s this old plantation with these huge oak trees, and the Spanish moss just hangs beautifully there. We would walk down that street, and my boys would beg me to tell them the legend of the Spanish moss, over and over again.
“I changed it up to make it friendlier and to incorporate the adage, ‘Don’t burn your bridges, because you never know who you will need later’.”
This book, like Lennon’s first, incorporates another component. As a guidance counselor in Robeson County Schools, she witnesses the lack of role models available the predominantly Native American population she serves. She said that in writing the book, she hopes to instill pride in Native Americans and foster some of the qualities that were important to their ancestors, such as community, faith, and family.
This time around, Lennon enlisted the help of a friend and artist, Dewey Andrew Scott. His first foray into illustration, according to Lennon, was a gift to her.
“I couldn’t have been more pleased with the first book,” she recounted, “but having real drawings done with real characters has made me really, really super proud of this one. (Scott) did a great job.”
A Lake Waccamaw native, Lennon currently resides in Bladenboro with her husband Greg. They have three children and two grandchildren, with another on the way. Lennon’s job as guidance counselor and her studies on the effects of poverty on students have led to her being considered an expert in the field.
Dewey Andrew Scott (Bo) is a master craftsman and artist. Scott grew up learning art from his father along the banks of the Lumbee River, which, to this day, is a source of inspiration for his craft.
The Legend of the Spanish Moss is available at bookstores nationwide, and can be found at major online retailers.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing email@example.com.