“So where are you from?” is the question that many of us ask, or are asked, when we meet someone.
And in the case of my wife Dena and I, we are often told, “You don’t sound like you are from around here.”
For the two of us, for a reason I don’t quite understand, our accents faded some as we were growing up, as we went to college, and as we left Georgia to go to school in Virginia.
Dena grew up in Warner Robins, so maybe being a part of a military community, with the diverse places and accents that would be in this self-proclaimed “International City”, perhaps that changed what might have been a southern drawl to something more neutral.
For me, the place where I grew up was called the “Maaaaaaaa-rrreee” community. The name is Marie, but that is not how you say it if you are from the “Maaaaarree” community. That place got its name from the little church that was just down the road, a half-mile from the house where I grew up. There were pine trees that had been planted in the land bordering on the back of that church. There was a cemetery across the road. And around that cemetery, there was our family land, land that my grandfather had owned and divided. This was the land where my father planted corn, wheat, soybeans and peanuts. It was the land where he allowed people to shoot dove when the season was in. It was also the land that he kept hogs on. On that same piece of land was the house that my father and mother had built, sitting right next to the white clapboard house where he was raised.
So, where was it that you grew up? What was it like there? How did that place nurture you? Even though some of us may have moved around a lot when we were young, think about those places. What is the soil from which you grew like a tender plant?
We are all like plants that grow. We have all been planted somewhere; we all have our roots in some soil in some place. But . . . in addition to that planting, there are the sacred places in our lives where we are rooted. There are those places where we have life because of our connection to God and the love of God. Maybe for you, a…