Lessons from Home Part I
Every time I travel back home to the Delta, I am flooded with memories and lessons I learned from them. Today we will begin a series of some my favorite memories and life lessons and I would love to have you as a travel companion.
My maternal grandparents have lived out in the country on the same piece of Mississippi farm land for forty years. It’s flat, a little dirty, and it was the best place to spend my summers as a child. My grandfather was a farmer and owned acres upon acres of land that he farmed with his brother. On top of that, he had a massive garden and his own personal orchard behind the house.
My grandparents house was a place where cousins become the best of friends and your favorite playmates. Brandon and Bradley are considerably younger than my brother and I but age never mattered when we all got together.
We would play with everything we could get our hands on but our favorite item to play with was a refrigerator box. The only reasoning I can find is that it allowed our imaginations to go crazy. We would build these incredible forts off of this box in the den of the house and create the wildest adventures. As time went on, the box would wear down and Papaw would have to go get us another box. You would think that we would be able to switch boxes without emotional turmoil but that was never the case.
Memories were created with that ragged box and so much fun was had. We couldn’t just simply throw away what had become our friend. My grandpa, being the insightful man he is, saw that and would always allow us to say goodbye our way.
(Now, I want to paint the perfect picture here so that you can fully enjoy this with me.)
We would load our ragged box in the back of Papaw’s pick-up and drive off to one of his fields somewhere. Once we got to the perfect clearing, we would all get out and Paps would put the box in the middle of the dirt lane and tell us to say our goodbyes. Then us kids would all pile up in the truck while Paps lit our box on fire and we watched with tears flowing from the back of the cab. Paps would finish with the box and hop back in the truck. We would drive off in the most melodramatic of fashions with the small ones sobbing and me crying because they were crying. *Cue Michael Bolton’s “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”* (Might I add, we knew full well that there was a new box waiting for us back home but we still needed to mourn our old one.)
It happened this way every single time. Paps knew that box was sacred to us. To others, it was a small thing and possibly inane to allow a child to mourn over beat up cardboard. However, Paps knew it wasn’t just beat up cardboard. It was never just a ragged refrigerator box. It was adventure and imagination spilled out and he knew we needed to say goodbye in order to fully prepare for our next adventure.
Sacred doesn’t come in a specific size. It can be big or small by the world’s standards but that never diminishes its meaning. I challenge you to find the sacred in your everyday life. It’s there, waiting to be found and exulted over.
Make sure you come back next week for the next installment of Lessons from Home.