You can’t love yourself if you hate where you came from.
… I didn’t used to think that. I spent a large part of my life absolutely hating where I was from; desperate to ‘get out’ and put it all behind me. I thought I was above it – “better” than it. Because you see, I was lumping the situation I was coming from with the place I was from. I was denying the birthplace of my soul… (at least this go-round!) and I couldn’t start to find me, the real, down-deep, pagan, magic-slingin’, hearth-witch ME until I rolled my uppity self back a ways & got back to my roots.
Now don’t get me wrong – there are things about where I’m from that I still view with disdain. There are things, people, and ideas I would love to change (forcibly, if necessary). Those ‘quirks’ are like that one crazy person in your family that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, they’ll find a way to embarrass the ever-lovin’-life out of you… Those things are like that, and they very likely won’t ever go away – but that isn’t the sum whole of the place.
It took me a good while to realize it, and I fought it every step of the way (stubborn-headed country girl that I am), but I don’t hate where I came from. Bless me, y’all, but it turns out I love it…
I love the crunching sound of tires on a gravel road. I love the smell of catfish fryin’ out on the back porch. I love how you can meet a stranger and within the span of a heartbeat, they’re family – forever. I love layin’ on top of a huge roll of baled hay and watching the stars light up one by one in the vast sky over me. I love hearing the buzzing song of swarms of cicadas while drifting off to sleep in a room where the breeze floats through the open windows. I love shootin’ old milk jugs off the weathered wooden fence out on my Grandaddy’s Back 40. And I love… love me some boiled peanuts. For real, y’all, it’s an addiction.
For all the things that I don’t cotton to about my birthplace, there’s a hundred that set my soul to singing. That Alabama red clay runs through my veins just as sure as my blood does, and there’s just no separating it. It was a hard road, and there were quite a few bumps – and I expect there’ll be quite a few more – but it’s a road I took, come hell or high water.
Guess it’s a good thing, too… ‘cuz I kinda like lovin’ myself.