It’s a wonder to watch Mama keep house. It’s a legacy in itself to watch her bustle and fly about and have time to kiss every child of hers that passes through a room. She pauses to drink a cup of chai in the kitchen and beam over her people. I realized as she did so that she’d made about 10 succulent dishes – bacon, eggs, egg casseroles, grits, buttermilk biscuits, gravy, sausage, gluten free biscuits, gluten free gravy, cinnamon rolls – and that she was in that peaceful, grinning flurry of doing what she does so well; loving people.
Coming home I find roots. I find myself using smile muscles at the back of my face, and soaking up a sap of a tree that grew me. We’re all thrown into the business of living life, and loving people. When I come home, it makes sense a little better. The repetitive sewing of love. It makes sense why Daddy called us into devotion night after night, even after days when he was beat; why Mama came to touch our head with a hand and pray over us, and kiss our face when we’d already fallen asleep. It makes sense why Mama made us sit together for supper, and why they told us stories of them growing up; why Mama told us the story of our birth every year we turned a year older.
Last night we sang songs of Jesus’ birth. An 85 year old man sat in our living room and sang with us. He looked around the room with tears in his eyes. He’d lost his wife a few months ago. This isn’t unusual. People hurting or lonely or in need have been a constant in our family home, growing up. But last night, it made sense again. In a way, this is what Mama and Daddy have grown into us, and hoped for us, in summary.
There are so many things we don’t know in a broken world. But we know a little. And with that little we do know, we can diligently Do. We know that love goes a long way in preserving good and delighting our circle of people. The time we choose spend with our children or send a note of encouragement or take a meal to someone or give a kind smile, or pray with someone are remnants of a good thing. It is designed to bless people and it is this over and over again that keeps us to the old landmarks, and leaves a legacy of joy for the ones behind us. That light is irreplaceably beautiful.