I have not spoken here, yet, of the experience of our family when we finally
welcomed our ancestor from obscurity, ours the re-discovery to create
openings in how, now, I see my world.
Look at that!
I started the sentence with the voice of ‘we’, and found myself in an ‘I’.
I can say that describes my shift: out of the ‘we’, the group of us,
I could feel my own presence more flexibly.
What a surprise.
A poet sums it up:
“We did not come to remain whole.
We came to lose our leaves like the trees,
The trees that are broken
And start again, drawing up from the great roots.”
…………….. ROBERT BLY.
Last Sunday we dedicated the headstone that told of his life and death,
135 years ago, my great -grandfather, Dr. James McCune Smith, buried
in Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY.
His roots were great, and our coming together showed me how, unknowing,
each of us has carried on his heritage in some way of living, of being with
courage in the world.
LIke the white doves that were released to open the dedication,
I feel a freedom I had not known I sought. I welcome our new cousins,
and love that we do look as if we came from the same roots!
And so it is.
with love …