I Am From..............

Some bloggers are writing their personal stories from the perspective of "I Am From"

i.e. see Elizabeth's post.

I read Elizabeth's post before I wrote this one of my own but decided to not read the one she linked to until after I had written my own.

I wanted to have my own original thoughts as much as possible.

Now I am anxious to go back and read the one she linked to.


______________________________

I Am From


I am from the years of World War II--from a father who did not know I had been born until thirty 

days afterwards, and who did not see me for over a year.


I am from a civil war area, the war torn land of Arkansas,

a land where the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Indians left a trail of tears that

soaked the delta along the Mississippi River, the fields of bright white cotton,

the rolling hills and valleys of central Arkansas as they trudged forward looking towards the opalescent

 skies and the rugged sapphire, amber and jade mountains 

of the Ouachitas and the Ozarks as they made their way across Arkansas and finally

 reached the designated Indian Territory now known as Oklahoma.


I am from another lifetime--

slow, lethargic days of summer that seemed to go on endlessly--

days without television and malls.

Days filled with sitting on the front porch shelling peas with my mother, aunts, cousins and 

grandmother, 

--with sopping her biscuits in red-eye gravy

and going to the fields with my grandfather and watching him thump the watermelons 

until he chose the "just right" one,

hours of going behind him gathering potatoes as he and his mule plowed the furrows and

unearthed the treasures to be stored in my grandmother's food cellar.


I come from a time of small country churches heated by pot-bellied wood stoves,

wooden slatted benches that left deep marks on one's legs after sitting

for hours at the all day fellowship meetings held every fifth Sunday of the month.


In summer those same churches were not air conditioned

and had no fans of any kind--well, just the hand-held kind that came from the funeral home.

Towards mid-afternoon after all the water jugs had been drained dry and the babies had fallen asleep in

spite of the heat, I remember the dry parched roughness of my throat--

I remember the almost absolute stillness with the buzzing of the flies, the slow, drawled words of a 

boring speaker--

and then, the banjos, fiddles, tambourines, guitars, mandolins, accordions, and piano

would give a charge of electricity to the meeting and all thoughts of thirst were forgotten

as praises extended to the highest heavens and a sweet breeze blew through that little country church.



I come from the days of dinner on the ground--yes, laid out on the ground on red-checkered cloths--

from old men standing around swapping old news while some of the children played tag 

and others drew circles on the ground and played marbles until they got blisters on their thumbs.


I come from the days of baptisms in a country creek--

yes, I remember holding hands with a long line of my friends as we gingerly made our 

way out into the cool gurgling waters of the rocky creek and one by one as a symbol of our faith

in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus who paid the price for the remission of our sins,

went down in the murky darkness and came up into a bath of sunlight.

Even the rocky creek bottom felt like we were dancing on air!


____________________________________


*end of first segment of I Am From*

all art, photography and text copyright material of Elizabeth Dianne except where otherwise noted





Comments

Sandy said…
This is so beautiful, poetic. Many of your remembrances here are similar to those I have of my own life. Some of the differences being that I was and am in the beautiful North Carolina mountains and I followed along behind my daddy in the fields of our farm and not my granddaddy. The childhood days of no phones, TV's or malls were glorious. And sitting on the front porch or swinging in our big red swing until the lightening bugs came out, that was a wonderful life. And you made my mouth water when you mentioned the red-eye gravy. Mama's biscuits and red-eye were the best! Thanks for lots of sweet memories today. I enjoyed this.
Love & Blessings~
Thank you dear Sandy--I know we overlap in our memories even tho I am almost a decade older--age has never seemed to make a difference in our relationship though and I love that. Thank you.
Debbie Petras said…
Dianne, this is beautiful! I can almost picture myself in your world. What a great idea!

Blessings and love,
Debbie
Thanks, Debbie--I would love to read yours!
Nancy said…
I loved reading this post about your early life....It's amazing how many similarities there are between your story and mine....my favorite the "red eye gravy" and being "baptized" in the creek...A very different time with such sweet memories.....I look forward to the next installment...
Carol Maenner said…
Your life story was so beautifully expressed in this blog made me feel like I was right there while I was reading. God Bless you��

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