(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 dress.
- that transformed our garden carrots, onions and peas into savory servings that sustained us.
- that aged with creases . . .
- yet continued to carve symbols of what one heart can do for another.
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, then regaining our best lady-like postures, we would walk up the front steps at Our Lady of Victories Church. I am from other broken things, like hearts that became unhinged after loss, who limped through life to find closure and healing . . .with family and with our church community, where bread was broken in memory of Him.
I am from the ordinary. . .
I am from generations of the ordinary, the wretched, the poor, the homeless, who came ashore carrying in the palm of their hands 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 smooth out the knots.
I am from books . . .
- that cultivated my mind with gardens of thought.
- that mapped new roads to travel.
- that delighted me with the wonders of words.
- that ignited the poetry of life.
- that could simultaneously echo me back and jettison me forward.
- that generate the power of inquiry.
- that never cease to inspire . . .
A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a teacher, a doorway, a map, and a multitude of counselors. – Charles Baudelaire
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
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?