The road was winding and dusty, my heart was beating faster. I was about to drive down the narrow road that my Daddy used to walk down when he was a child living at the end of the “holler”, up a little creek, in the shelter of an Eastern Kentucky mountain.
My eyes couldn’t take it all in fast enough. I felt the tears stinging my eyes as I blinked them back, I didn’t want to miss a single moment. I felt I had finally come full circle. I was finally here, where my heart had desired to be since I was a child. The place where I’d heard my Daddy and Grandparents speak of all my life, their old Kentucky home. I never understood my longing for this place, until my feet stood in the lush green clover on the bank of Frozen Creek in Knott County.
My heart was content. I was home. I knew that this is where I was supposed to be. God had indeed marked this date in time for me to be standing exactly where I stood. I looked at the mountains surrounding me, I felt a security that I’d never experienced before. I explained to my Dad how I felt and he said, “Yes honey, I know that feeling. Like you’re cradled in the Lord’s bosom.” And yes, that’s exactly how I felt.
I’d never been here before, but yet I felt like I had left something here, and I had this day came back to reclaim it. These emotions came from the deep bond I have with my Dad, and my family roots that remain deep in the heart of these mountains.
Many years ago, my Grandparents took the great Ship Mary and Ann from England to the Jamestown River to escape religious persecution. Years later a young man was born. A brave warrior, a man of honor who helped to attain my freedom during the Revolutionary War. He met a young dark haired woman, kind and patient and strong. They fell in love, had their own children, and eventually made their home in these beloved mountains.
The more I have learned of my family and their past, the more I have learned about myself and who I am. And I am thankful for the sacrifices made. I can never repay the debt that I owe to those that went before me. But I have walked in the shadow of their precious footsteps, down a dusty winding road, that lovingly led me back home. Truly, home is where the heart is.