March 19, 2016

Today I Have Roots.

Girl, tree, nature

Today I feel the rays against my ivory shell like a bonafide madness.

My limbs hang loosely against my flesh and I feel my back melt into the earths dressings, blades of grass and southern soil smell like childhood to me.

My eyes open wide to the Carolina sky, counting the faces of the clouds.

Somehow each face reminds me of a former self.

I bite my lip and dig my fingertips deep into the soil, feeling cold dirt creep underneath my nails.

I still bite them, just like I did at five years old sitting underneath that old pecan tree waiting for my grandaddy to crack me another nut, in his oversized straw hat and southern drawl. He called me “princess” as if it were my only name.

Today I have roots.

My veins pulse throughout the East coast as if I were the waves that wash upon the shore.

My back is the sand that carries little footsteps collecting and cherishing broken sea shells as if they were solid gold. Most days I have wings.

But today I have roots.

Reminded of the Appalachian Trails painted leaves each fall. Carol King and James Taylor serenade the family car as we find ourselves on back roads. Windows down, letting the mountain sing us to sleep in the back seat, as the colors of fall fade to winters breath.

They tell us to have wings, but what about the roots?

The roots that have been embedded deep within, reminding you that you didn’t get here alone.

Humbling your soul and feeding your heart like my grandmother used to feed the geese at that old pond behind her house.

She would let me hold the bag of bread as long as I stayed close to her side. She’s no longer here, but the pond is, and geese are.

They want us to spread our wings and travel far and wide, and rightly so.

But let us not neglect our roots, for our roots are why we are brave enough to fly.


Author: Emily Gordon

Editor: Sara Kärpänen

Photo: Stephanie Krist / Unsplash

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Emily Gordon