Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Brief Epistle to Home

Memphis, oh Memphis.

You are oppressively hot, humid, and far away from people that I love. Your roaches of extraordinary size waterbugs are beyond compare and I feel landlocked and cranky without an in-reach ocean.

But I love you. We "chose the 901" last year, and I am hooked.

I love your roads, even the ones that leave me stuck behind slow moving trains, I love your unrelenting sunshine that leaves me sweating and longing for fall. I love your unusual penchant for yielding plentiful farmer's markets and locally produced, delicious restaurant fare. I love your Botanical Garden and Zoo, splash pads and central library, thank you for these favorite daytime nooks.

I love your history. You are steeped in it. Unlike my sadly watery iced tea, you can taste the strongly brewed past that has baked deep into your brick and concrete. There is so much that I do not know about you, but I am intrigued by the hurts and hallelujahs that have made you who you are. I want to know more.

I love that I can taste my history in your avenues and byways. Everywhere I find myself, I imagine my father and grandfathers and the lives they lived within your sprawl, all a part of building you into the city you are. In farms and gas stations, stoneyards and hospitals they worked and dreamed, and with you, I feel closer to the Spinolos, Hancocks and Christies whose blood runs in my veins.

I love your "Memphians," who have become so either by birth or by choice. You are a city of many underserved, but a city of many who serve. Never have I personally experienced such strong evidence of the hand of God working in the hearts of so many, committed to being His hands and feet. They are my brothers and sisters, friends of only a few months, but already a part of my heart.

Yes, I complain about train whistles, bugs, far off distance and heat. Forgive me these gripes, for truly, I am grateful to be here. The days I have spent in your company have been some of my hardest, but also some of my richest. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, in the "Land of the Delta Blues," and I am forever thankful that I have called you Home.

Today, I am happy to be in my motherstate, hundreds of miles away, but I am homesick for the 901, and I am ready to be home.

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