Tuesday, May 4, 2010



The road was winding and winding, 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. My throat had a knot in it the size of a baseball I believe. I felt the tears stinging my eyes as I blinked them away, because I didn't want to miss a single thing. It's still fresh in my mind, the beauty and the feeling that I had finally come full circle. I was back where I belonged. Where my heart had craved to be since I was a child. But I never understood it, til my feet stood in the fresh green thick clover on the bank of Frozen Creek in Knott County Kentucky. My heart was content. If ever I felt a need, a craving, something left undone or unsaid. Those emotions were all satisfied in that moment. I was home. I knew that this is where I was supposed to be. God had indeed marked this date on the calendar for me to be standing exactly where my feet were planted. As I stood and looked at those mountains around me, I felt a security that I'd never experienced before. I explained this to my Daddy and he said, "Yes honey, I know how you felt. Like you were cradled in the Lord's bosom." And yes, that's exactly how I felt.

Having never been here before it's funny how I felt like I had left something here, and I had this day came back to reclaim it. That feeling came from the deep bond I have with my Daddy, and my family roots that are still deep in the heart of these mountains. I know that who I am, began many years ago, with blood, sweat and tears here in the beloved mountains of Kentucky.
I've heard many stories from my Grandma, Grandpa and my Dad and Mom of their lives here. Precious stories of hard times, but happy times.
Many years ago, my family took the great Ship Mary and Ann from England to the Jamestown River to escape religious persecution. From there, two children were born. One a brave warrior, a man of honor who helped to attain my freedom during the Revolutionary War. The other, a kind and patient woman. They met, fell in love, had their own children, and eventually made their home in beloved Kentucky.
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. Home truely is where the heart is.

© 2010 Mikki Jo Howard

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