(Here in Florida, I am often asked, “Where are you from?” Then I name the states I have lived in, but Katelyn, our remarkable teenager, reminded me there is so much more to that question.)
I am from nimble hands . . .
- that tickled my skin while pinning the seams on my hand-me-down dresses.
- that transformed our garden carrots, onions and peas into savory servings that sustained us.
- that aged and wrinkled . . . yet painfully continued to shape and carve symbols of love.
I am from broken parts . . .
I am from old cars with broken parts like this 1950's Chevy that limped and chugged us to our first year of college. You couldn't get the doors to close without a hammer. Even in our Sunday best, Sandy and I would clumsily wield a heavy hammer on the door hinges. Once they gave way, we would toss the hammer into the back, slam the doors shut, dust off our clothes, straighten our hats, regain our best lady-like postures, and then we walk up the front steps to enter Our Lady of Victories Church. I am from other broken things, like shattered hearts that became unhinged after loss, who slow-walked through life until finally finding closure and healing . . . and from bread, broken in memory of Him.
I am from the ordinary. . .
I am from generations of the ordinary, the wretched, the poor, the hopeful, who came ashore with nothing in their hands except for a fierce legacy of hard work, steadfast faith and devotion to family. That in itself is extraordinary.
I am from girlfriends . . .
I am from strands of untangled friendships braided together in harmony. Together we smoothed out the knots.
I am from books . . .
- that open my mind to gardens of thought.
- that map new roads to travel.
- that delight me with the wonders of words.
- that ignite the poetry of life that never cease to inspire.
- that simultaneously echo me back and jettison me forward.
- that generate the power of inquiry.
I am from days at the shore . . .
My shapeshifting ocean, Surging and heaving, I grew up believing She knew me. Hold on to those days That float away. Seagulls flying ore' the sea, Laugh at the futility. Blurred they may be Where sky meets sea. So I meld into fluid Divine motion . . , . . . the current that quenches the soul.
I am from scraped knees that could bend, but not break . . .
I am from little knees that could bend each night while holding onto beliefs, that while tested . . . could not . . . and did not . . . brake.
And I am from Christmases of glistening tinsel, memories of long shiny threads of light, that once flickered and are now gone but not forgotten.
Where Are You From?
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters . . . and its leaf will be green. -----Jeremiah 17:7
10 Comments Add yours
Gosh Gloria, I love this one as it brings up so many memories for me –thank you!!
Nancy, Great memories for me too. That same old Chevy was even more quirky. The hood would randomly pop-up while driving. I know that sounds so dangerous, and it was . . .but we’d always pull over, close it and be off again.
I am very proud of my ancestors. My grandchildren have everything they can ever want, but I want them to know from whence we came.
I adore this and the flood of memories you evoked. Thank you. Would you mind if I share on my fb feed?
Thank you. That would be fine. My words are meant to be shared.
Dr. Hill, this is so beautiful! Although there are many years that separate us, but so much of your story resonated with me! Everything from the Christmases and family background truly struck a chord. I have to add in the love for American cars (it’s rare to find another woman who includes that in their story!) but I own a Mustang and I, too, come from a lineage that loved American cars. I am so happy that you shared this with me. I hope to begin a blog of my own like this one day- perhaps between ending my masters now and beginning my Ph.D?
Thank you so much. I appreciate every word and thought. There are free blog sites. You can journal without posting as some of my friends do. It’s just a way to sort of “prime the pump”. Yet I understand the whole timing issue. Your gifts will not spoil. No shelf life on creativity. You will know when “it” calls you.
This really makes me think of the many places I called home, but home was really where the ones I loved and love are. I remember those Christmases with all that tinsel lovingly put on the tree one strand at a time , and the magic of being an angel in the church Christmas Eve nativity. It was magic. I have been lucky to have so many loving people in my life. I hope we can come up with a date for a visit soon.
Ah yes—tinsel hung one strand at a time is a special memory only those of us of a certain age would know. Generations after us will have their own magical memories. Yes, come visit.