April 16, 2008

How our hearts long for a certain type of terrain, or a part of the country.

I live in an area where I am surrounded by much of the type of scenic beauty Kelli longs for. And my folks lived yards from the beach in Daytona. I could have retired in a home right there, walked down to the Atlantic, but when my parents died, I sold it. I live in one of the most scenic areas in the U.S., and yet, if I turn inside my heart, my yearning is for those Ohio Valley woods and rolling hills...with the seasons.

I wrote my first journal entry in 2003. This is what I wrote, and this is who I am.

Come to Know Me

Out of the current of many bloodstreams, walked one of my ancestors. She was a product of the Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears. I wonder if she treasured dreams of those who would come after her, who would revere the knowledge of her existence although it was in a far off time. And I wonder if she could envision the shadows of her nature which would fall across my soul.

I never knew her name. I only know she was.

But the power of her genes exceeds all others, and I find the very colours of my spirit streaming from her life.

In me, the musky autumn leaves spin toward the earth, cast-off from molting trees huddled together to brace against the promise of chilling days to come.

In me, the mournful voice of a loon haunts from the far side of waters blackened by a moonless night. Its call rides upon the gentle sound of the waves rhythmically kissing the shore.

In me, the soft earth is alive as it caresses the soles of my feet, skimming a path left behind by the journeys of others. I go lightly, and before long seem to walk on air above the ground.

In me, the sweet pine smoke of many fires rises to give its offering to the skies and permeates the dampness of the evening mist.

In me are the melancholy yearnings for a sense of place, which long ago was lost and lies beyond the reach of all my efforts to embrace it and lie down.

But, if you were to come across my path and see my face, you would not recognize me. You would see the face of the grandmother down the street, living in the house around the block, cooking, cleaning, shopping at your local store.

All generations learn to walk upon the boards of the stage on which their lives are played. And you would see my face and think you know me well.

It takes vision with perception to reach inside and draw the curtains from the windows of another's soul. Then you will know.

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