Tennessee Born and Bred
A Home-Grown Legacy
Lately the yearning for home has been overwhelming. The smell of newly mown grass, the feel of it beneath my bare feet, the fresh country breezes--all beckon me from the back porch like Mama at suppertime.
Home is honeysuckle and pine, earth and blackberries entertwined, and well water cold and clear from the garden hose. It is the hot sun glinting off my horse's neck, the smell of sweaty leather and sweet feed, fresh hay in the loft, all prickly and itchy and fun to unravel. Home is the smell of wet dog and the sound of your laughter as he vigorously shook off in your face and turned to chase a cat up the nearest tree. It is finding litters of puppies beneath the shed or at the barn, and leaving little bowls of milk and bread under the carport to tempt them closer, then the final heartbreak of parting with them when weaned.
Do you, too, long to lie in the grass and let the sun warm your face as you listen to the sounds of the country? Do you long to swing back and forth letting the breeze whisper in your ears as you gaze into the wide blue spaces? Do you long to hear the hum of a nearby tractor or the buzz of a lone cropduster overhead?
Then carry your mementos with you, and when longing overtakes you, peer deeply into the velvet-lined box that is your heart and cradle the fragile moments like faberge' eggs. Then softly, tenderly, turn them over in your mind--until finally sated, you are able to press them to your breast, kiss them sweetly, and tuck them back inside. For these memories are your heritage, your legacy—your gift. You will need these treasured blueprints. Some day,somewhere, someone will feel that same sweet longing for home because of what was built for them on this, your priceless foundation.
Born in the Bible Belt
I was blessed to be born smack dab in the middle of the Bible belt. My parents made sure I was in church every time the doors were open. I remember flannelgraph stories of Moses, Noah, and Jesus. I remember singing "Just as I Am," and praying at an old fashioned alter (which are becoming more scarce these days). I remember being baptized in a muddy pond with the mud squishing between my toes. My mama said I came up shining like an angel. I remember first Sunday in June homecomings with dinner on the grounds and afternoon gospel singings, tent revivals where the mosquitos were thick and the Spirit even thicker. That was back in the day when women still wore dresses and men were still men.