Thursday, June 24, 2010

Leaving behind firm footprints

I have been re-reading old journals of mine, and came upon this poem I have notated as "written by a woman from Kenya." I wish I had made a clearer notation - is this one of my African women friends or did I read it somewhere?

In any case, it is written by a woman who communicated to her mother in Kenya that she was homesick, longing for her mother and her 'home'. Her mother wrote back, and the woman made the mother's words into this poem.

Daughter, do not romaticize home
Do not, my daughter, for many who are home have jail for home.

Thousands who are home have streets for home
Millions who are home are crying for home
The whole land is crying for home.

The whole land is crying
The waters are bitter
What shall we drink?

Daughter, do not romanticize home!
Do not! Daughter...
you who have chosen the path of people's struggles
Must find the courage to build new homes,
To start new lives,
Wherever you are -
Be it in the air
Be it on the seas
Be it in the trees
Be it in the desert.

Create new life.
Create human beings out of these
And build new homes on whatever patch of ground your feet tread.

Walk well.
Step solidly.
Leaving behind you firm footprints.
Walk well along the path you have chosen to take.

My morning meditation today was in the book of Proverbs. This proverb caught my eye, as it always does: a wise woman builds her own home, but a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands. So many women are busy tearing their home down. Wishing they had someone else's home. Someone else's person or people. This month I have had a little family living in my home while they wait for their new home to become available. I have deep satisfaction that my home is built well enough that it can become a peaceable resource for others. A well built home (and that doesn't mean the same thing as a well decorated home :-) is a treasure on this ragged earth. My sisters, don't underestimate the work of building a home.


amberly said...

i think i'll print this post and hang it on my mirror...

Anonymous said...

This must have been God's theme yesterday. I was reading the same Proverb and reflecting on my previous homes and where God has brought me. I am SO THANKFUL. Again God knew better than me and and gave me a gift yesterday of showing me why things happened the way they did.

Erin Crisp said...

Man did I need to hear that today.