One of the places I've been reading is over at SheLoves Magazine. SheLoves is a group of ridiculously talented writers who have hearts for Jesus and authenticity and justice and community. When I read their posts, I feel at home with these women whom I've never known in person, but feel like my tribe.
Each month they post a theme and this month's theme is HERITAGE. They invited their readers to a synchroblog, and when I first read it, I thought maybe I should write a piece.
But then Fear and Intimidation spoke loudly. They asked me who I thought I was. In case I still had any momentum, their buddy Busy got to work on me. I hadn't written my synchroblog.
And then this morning I read a Facebook post from Idelette, the founder of SheLoves. Of the synchroblog, it said this:
And I knew, that if I allowed Fear and Intimidation and Busy to bully me, I would miss out on this opportunity of Tribe.
And so, I humbly present to you my offering of this exercise.
I Am From--Then and Now
I am from snowboots,
from dog bowls and plastic blue tumblers,
Full of apple Kool-Aid
I am from the log cabin on the side of the mountain
The bead board ceilings and wrought pine floors,
an amber box called home.
I am from the aspens
The blue spruce pines
The creek trickling, carrying nuggets of gold
Smoke from the pot-bellied stove filling the sky.
I’m from Christmas morning breakfast and suspicion,
from Nana and Grandma Jane, who died before I was born.
I’m from keeping busy and working too much
and from being in the same space without really being together.
I’m from “you can be anything you want to be” and “mind your manners”
and Jesus Loves Me (but you’re a dirty, rotten sinner).
I’m from mashed potatoes, and white meat,
and stuffing cooked outside the bird.
I’m from Colorado
and the Wild West,
the lonely, lonesome, ghost towns.
I’m from chocolate chip cookies and scrambled eggs with toast.
From the sister with Down syndrome
Who beat all the odds,
To live a life of her own choosing.
A picture of a mother, two boys on her lap, reading the story of the Christ-child
Hangs on the wall in my father’s house,
A grandmother I never knew.
I am from cast iron skillets,
From local honey and slip-on shoes,
Piled in baskets at the back door.
I am from the crumbly brick ranch with the red front door
I am from coffee, freshly brewed in the pot
A sofa which you need not ask before you put your feet on.
I am from the white crepe myrtle
Whose giant blooms drip from its branches.
I’m from morning snuggles in bed and grace for mistakes,
from JoJo and Stellar and Monster.
I’m from clean laundry stacked in baskets and grace
and from opening the windows to let the fresh air in,
every chance we get.
I’m from “I love you” and “I’m sorry”
and “Hush, Little Baby” sung in whispers to their ears.
I’m from princess crowns on your birthday,
because we deserve to shine.
I’m from Carolina
and the South,
it speaks to me, “You’re home.”
I’m from banana bread and spinach smoothies,
Black beans and rice, and homemade maple nut granola.
From a son who never made it to his birth day,
Yet changed our lives forever.
His ashes sit on our bookshelf,
Reminding us of our hope for Heaven.