Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where I am From

Inland Empire Girl has been honoring National Poetry Month (April) by posting a poem a day. Her energy amazes me. Today, she shared a poem she had written based on one written by George Ella Lyon. You can find her poem here along with links to poems she challenged her siblings to write.

Two summers ago, I wrote a similar poem at a writing retreat at Rockport. I remember the extreme satisfaction in putting childhood memories together in poetic form, and the overwhelming sense of comfort and blessing I felt at recalling my roots. I know I am fortunate in those good memories.

Teaching reminds me that more often than not, my good fortune is someone else's tragedy. It's why and how, I think, teachers can make a difference. They have opportunities to mend, to heal, to empower a child to overcome the challenges family can sometimes impose on them. I remember when I first realized the weight of what I was doing sometime in my first year of teaching...at a boarding school...I cried myself to sleep that night. I didn't think I could do it. I didn't think I knew how to make enough of a difference. All these years later, it still frightens me. But I know I have to make the effort. I know I have to at least try...

Anyway, back to the original point of this post, the poem:


I am from wisdom
and Godliness--pioneer
stock and patience.
Scattered wide across the
plains; traveled far across
the sea.

I am from peace-making,
peace-loving, pieced-together
moments of sheer joy
Intertwined with intensity and
purpose and God-centeredness.

I am an educator's heiress--
Twenty-nine years between occupancy,
Destined--perhaps--to follow
in footsteps I can only
occasionally fill.

I am the result of a healer's gentle touch
and example as well. Destined--at times--
to need that touch even as I give it.

I am from music--composer
and composed--making merry
measure, singing soulful songs.

I am from travelers--grandparents
who left home for this
better land; parents who
took me back just last year.

I am from leaders. I have walked
in their shadow and those of others
for years.

Fifty one years in the making,
I am from strength and vulnerability
f
rom longevity and commitment
and from love.


Photos: Field of daffodils in South Lancaster ten yesterday; my mother and my nephew, celebrating his 16th birthday yesterday; my family this past Christmas from the loft above.

4 comments:

mon@rch said...

Poems and wonderful and thanks for sharing your wonderful poem with us! They can sure make us smile!

sunny said...

You are from two of the classiest folks I've ever been blessed to have as mentors.

Inland Empire Girl said...

Thanks for sharing yours. It is so weird... before I did this post we had decided to use this prompt at our writing retreat this summer! I love your verse about piece and peace. Very nice!
As far an energy... remember I am not a principal! You always need a few pints more of energy each day. I know... one of my closest friends is our principal.

Inland Empire Girl said...
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