I don't do the whole Black Friday thing, so it really is a nice slow entry into the Christmas season. I will decorate the house, begin watching all my beloved Christmas movies and specials, and we are going on a one-day bus trip this Saturday with friends to see the Christmas light display in Olglebay, WV. Come Monday, I might indulge in a little Cyber Monday shopping, but I can do that in my pajamas, cup of cocoa in hand.
This also seems to be a time to reflect and remember times and loved ones who are gone from us. They are, after all, a big part of how we came to be who we are. Thinking of this made me remember a poem that was quite the thing a few years back, Where I'm From by George Ella Lyon. It's a poem that can be rewritten by anyone to tell the story of their own roots and everyone is encouraged to do so. I've written mine a few times in the past and I thought in honor of all I'm thankful for in getting where I am, I'd do it again. So, here, is
Where I'm From
I am from pickup trucks,
from Marlboro cigarettes, and Betty Crocker cakes.
I am from the front porch at dawn.
(Nana sharing her wisdom
with the rising sun.)
I am from the sweet smelling purple lilac bushes
and the weeping willows
whose massive trunks and low sweeping boughs
sheltered my childish dreams.
I'm from walks up the old dirt road and curly hair,
from Jack and Sherry.
I'm from the independent
and the quirky,
from Were you born in a barn?! and Clean up your plate!
I'm from Sunday school,
letting this little light of mine shine,
and prayers before bed.
I'm from Pilgrims and pioneers,
from roast beef and hot tea.
From the small celluloid pony,
a child's only gift in the depression,
and the doctor who couldn't save himself.
The stories were told
whenever the family gathered.
The pictures, packed away in my youth,
are now divvied up
gone to three states.
I don't know the faces
but hold the tales dear
and thank each one for bringing me here.
*If you'd like to try your own hand at the poem, you can find a template here and read the original that started it all here.