Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Who I Am


My father, a PhD botanist and professor of biology at Emory University, spent most of his professional life studying the flora of granite outcrops in the south, of which there are way too many to number.  On many summer or spring breaks, Dad would load the entire family into the car, and off we would travel to explore these sites with him.  It was always an adventure that we looked forward to; a break in what could all too easily become a humdrum, day-to-day existence.  Even when temperatures soared to 100 plus on those exposed rocks, simply being with Dad, discovering new and thriving species in the harsh environs, was reward enough.

Perhaps, because the month of March denotes Dad's passing in 2014, this memory returns to me, strong and vibrant.  I am immediately called to write it down.  And one thing I've learned over the years of trusting in God, when the nudge comes from Him, acknowledge and act!  The following poem is my answer to the Lord's inspiration.

~

Matthew 5:3
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.



The Who I Am

Our car pulls up, stops at homestead
In need of paint and reparation
Neglect not caused by aspiration
But only means to make it happen
Mom, brother and I watch
As Dad approaches gates of hell
In asking for permission to
Explore a hidden pearl-rich outcrop
On the land owned and valued
By this family.  It belongs
For generations to them all
Dad's Yankee accent, did he hide?
Had he learned the lilt and lisp
Of quaint Southern inflection
To convince reluctant owner
And sanction Dad's wish to trespass?
Whatever transpired, the path was clear
But I will ever recall, photo sharp
The two sons, wistful, overall clad,
Who meet my gaze with wonder, longing
For that which other children have
And I, in unexpected union
Find myself wishing to trade
My life with theirs, authentic, true
Because that's what I glean and gain
From their poor in spirit gazes
Rich in God's comforting wisdom
For there begins the who they are
And there begins the who I am

31 comments:

  1. Nice tribute Martha. You have a gift.

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    1. Thanks so much, Bill, for your kind words here.
      Love and blessings!

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  2. I believe you had a great father, Martha. Your tribute is a great honour to him. Well done.

    God bless you and your whole family.

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    1. He was the best, Victor, and I still miss him every day.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Thank you for taking us on your journey to the past. I felt like I was there if just for a moment.

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    1. If you felt you were there with me, Ryan, if for only a moment, then this was a worthwhile writing.
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I liked that a lot. Cool story.

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    1. Thanks, honey! It is such a vivid memory for me.
      Love you lots!

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  5. Yes... you do have a gift. The poem is lovely and the memories of time with your dear dad are so precious. You have blessed us with this post!

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    1. I so appreciate your kind and thoughtful words here, Terri. Glad the post blessed you today!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Love the part of the poem about, "gleaming and gaining". I love have you can take a beautiful memory and add words to it that move hearts.

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    1. Thank you, Betty, for your most kind words here. Glad the poem moved your heart today.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. This tribute has touched my heart, Martha!

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    1. Thanks so much, Mevely! Yes, Dad was a very handsome man, and I truly miss him so much.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Beautiful poetry! You are really talented, Martha. Such a special way to remember and reflect. I know you dad would be pleased.
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. Thanks so much, Loralu, for this kind compliment. I pray Dad would be pleased with this. One of my greatest joys was knowing he was lucid enough to read and enjoy my first three novels in The Glade Series. Dad died from Alzheimer's on this very day five years ago.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Martha, this a beautiful tribute to your daddy. What wonderful memories you must have, in addition to this, of adventures with your daddy.

    Keep writing and sharing, my friend!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Oh, yes, Kim, I'll keep on writing and sharing, that's for sure! I'm certain that this memory was triggered, too, by the failing of Mimi's health last month, as I penned this before she passed. I love it when God reminds us that our loved ones may be gone, but won't ever be forgotten.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Beautiful tribute to the memories of your dad and trips for his work, Martha! Love it!

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen, for your kind, encouraging words here. My Dad was one of a kind, and I'm one lucky woman who has always been proud to be his daughter.
      Love and blessings!

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  11. Beautiful, Martha! What a lovely tribute to your daddy :) I love your poetry, my friend.
    Blessings!

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    1. I've always been a bit self-conscious about my poetry, Beckie, so this means so much to me. Always feel that I could be better at it, but thanking God for leading me more successfully in this direction. Glad you liked it!
      Love and blessings!

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  12. Aw, what a beautiful glimpse into the life of your Dad and your childhood! Your Dad sounds like a wonderful man. So thankful you shared about him here. :)

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    1. Yes, Cheryl, my father was an amazing and loving man, and I miss him so much. One day, we will be reunited in heaven.
      Love and blessings!

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  13. What a marvelous tribute to your father and his interesting work! How wonderful that he included you in these trips to explore! What precious memories you made together. Love your poetry...and that picture...is that for real, or what you found that best describes the brothers? such a great picture, but you already described them so well probably a picture wasn't necessary...(but I liked it). I love these kinds of memories. It's neat that you can write poetry to go along with it. That is a gift in itself. you were blessed to have such a dad. My dad was similar, and I miss him so much. Sounds like you and I had similar kinds of childhood with adventuresome fathers!! What a blessing! I think it helps to explain "The Who I am" very well.

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    1. Pamela, yes, this was a "found" photo off the internet, and the gazes of these young boys pale in comparison to the ones that were burned into my heart and soul. Just the best I could find to emulate the experience.
      As I said to Beckie in a previous comment, I'm self-conscious about my poetry, but it seems that God is willing me more and more to explore this facet of creative writing. How can I say, "No," to Him? Well, you know the answer to that already - we can't!
      Yes, we were blessed to have such amazing fathers, something we will always treasure. And it has everything to do with who we are and always will be.
      Love and blessings!

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  14. Such a talent you are, girlfriend. And your dad, oh, what a treasure. Thank you for this beautiful ode to your father. Wonderful!

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    1. Please forgive, Debra, for just now seeing your comment and responding. It's too easy to get lost in the weeds! And thank you for your kind compliment here. I'm humbled and honored.
      Love and blessings!

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Be Joyful!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ...