Roots Part III: Where we come from

There’s something primal about the word roots. We feel it at our core.

Deep roots allow trees to stand tall, and they nourish the plant. Kind of like family. One hopes.

My roots are deep in the Ottawa Valley, in a farming community and a large extended family. No matter how old I get or where I live, the phrases “Ottawa Valley” and “farm” will always be central to my being.

Even as a child I was nosy. Here I am in our old farmhouse, listening in on the party line.

If I dig deeper, I get to “Irish,” “English,” and “Christian.” Yes, I am a WASP—a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant with all the privileges that come along with it. My parents raised me in faith and, even though it has evolved significantly over my lifetime, that rooting in faith still keeps me grounded.

What about people who aren’t so lucky?

When trees are rooted in rocky-ground, it’s difficult to stay standing.

There’s something primal about the word roots. We feel it—or the need of it—at our core.

Are you feeling well grounded?

6 thoughts on “Roots Part III: Where we come from

  1. marianbeaman

    Because of my Swiss/German heritage, traceable centuries back, I do feel rooted. I think my memoir shows the stability of that too. On another note, I enjoy seeing episodes of Henry Louis Gates’ TV show Roots, where celebrities who have felt rootless discover that they too have a heritage.

    The photo of you with the phone is priceless. It fits perfectly here!

    Reply
    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I wanted to tell you. I ordered your book and it arrived last Friday. I’ll be reading it soon. Looking forward to it. I have never watched Finding Your Roots, but I’m going to look for it. It sounds interesting.

      Reply
  2. Sheryl

    I love the photo. You were adorable – and the comment brought back lots of good memories of listening to the party line in a farmhouse when I was a child growing up in Pennsylvania.

    Reply

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