The Writer’s Journey
Until about 6th grade, I grew up in Small-town USA. Everyone knew everyone, and we knew all the juicy tidbits about everyone whether we wanted to or not.
We knew who our neighbors were and what they had for dinner. We knew who made the best fried chicken in town and who didn’t cook a lick.
We knew who had the most and who complained the least.
If Aunt Bertha didn’t feel up to marketing because of the bunion on her big toe, our little local market would go to her. They were happy to deliver.
Church socials were full-scale events especially during the holiday season. The ones with the most food drew the biggest crowds and saved the most souls. It was a well-known fact…er…rumor.
When mamas had babies, they didn’t have to worry about meals for the next week. (And maybe not for a month if the stork delivered twins.) Other women in the community would tag-team their efforts and bless the family with casseroles, stews, pies and cakes, and whatever else that might be needed.
To welcome new folks in our midst, we’d often have a “pounding.” That is, we’d shower them with a pound of this or a pound of that. Large boxes would often be packed with cans of coffee, bags of sugar, tins of teas, and containers of staples. We loved getting to know our new friends and neighbors.
We took the time to look past the busyness of life. We stopped and chatted with those on the street. We waved at passing cars and we rarely met a stranger.
We realized our roots and how deeply they were planted.
I loved those childhood years in our tiny, close-knit town. Those times taught me the importance of hearth and home. They forever stitched the seam of resiliency about the fabric of my soul.
I learned that while change is inevitable and good in so many ways, there are just some basics that are non-negotiable. Fads and trends will come and go, but it’s those intrinsic core values that we grow up with, long for, and adhere to that will endure.
We can’t (and shouldn’t) poke our heads in the sand to hide from cultural shifts and societal influences. We can, however, approach those influences confidently when we’re armed with the knowledge of what we know to be true: hearth and home are here to stay.
How we choose to define them is entirely up to us.
Cynthia writes faith-inspired Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction. Her stories are set in the vibrant foothills of the Ozark Mountains.
Her work is represented by Sarah Freese at WordServe Literary.
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