Recently some hometown friends came to St. Louis and we shared some really amazing time together. We reminisced about our shared history—playing as kids, marching band, etc. The conversations were also peppered with something more.
One friend reminded me how our parents had grown up together and how my dad had dated his aunt. I was reminded that the grandparents of my other friend were some of my grandparent’s dearest friends and that my dad built his first race care in her grandfather’s shop.
It all blends so well with my recent thoughts about reaching a milestone age. Today I have reached the half century mark. It still doesn’t seem possible.
I am the youngest in my graduating class by two days. We have been blessed with some wonderful reunions and I’m always reminded that we have one of the nicest classes to come out of our school. We started out together and many are still involved in each other’s daily lives. For most of us we first started hanging out in the church nursery every Sunday. For me it was the Linden Baptist crowd.
Then as we grew we still had church, but many of us also had our neighborhoods. Pinecrest was teeming with kids back then. We spent the days playing games like rock school, mother may I, red rover, kickball, croquet, and many others. We fashioned floor plans out of pine straw in the yard and played in our straw strewn houses. We sometimes got into trouble. It was clear who the troublemakers were. We still loved them and hung out with them.
All of these thoughts came flooding back to me suddenly one night and they made me thankful that I have something a lot of people don’t have. I have roots. My great grandfather Ed Adams moved to Myrtlewood around 100 years ago. I feel a deep connection with Myrtlewood because of that history. I would go with Grandmother to visit relatives, go to the cemetery, or attend decoration Sunday. She would tell me stories of her life there. I even have cousins, descendants of my grandmother’s siblings, who never grew up there but are choosing to put down some roots of their own in the communities of their Marengo County grandparents.
There’s power in history and power in home. I have roots. Maybe that’s what’s missing in this transient world. In our efforts to get jobs and find our way we may have very well lost our roots in the shallow soil of progress. We’ve let the bad things in life and the mundane things overgrow our memories and choke out the good things.
I will be the first to admit that Linden, AL is not a perfect place. Many would go as far to say it has as much in common with Peyton Place as it does with Mayberry, but they are still my roots. After all, isn’t the calling God gave us to love each other well despite their failings. I’ve got plenty of my own that’s for sure.
I shared history with a group of people whose parents shared history with mine. Our grandparents shared history. Our great grandparents shared history even though I know little about it. God may never lead my life back there to live, but he gave me the gift of roots and for that I’m thankful.