October 8, 2009

upon leaving my country…

I didn’t have any choices as to where I was born,
But if I had had my choice,
I would have chosen Kentucky.
And if could have chosen wind to breathe,
I would have chosen Kentucky wind.
With the scent of cedar, pinetree needles,
Green tobacco leaves, pawpaw, persimmon and sassafras.
I would have chosen too,
Wind from the sawbriar and greenbriar blossoms.

–Jesse Stuart, from "Kentucky is my Land"

The pastures may be "greener" elsewhere, but they aren't mine. Here's to turning my way back home again, someday.

I should say that that part of Stuart's poem has always particularly got to me: I was not born to Kentucky, but Kentucky was where I became nearly everything that I am today.

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