Welcome back to another episode of Ronovan Writes Be Wonderful on Wednesday. As I thought about this prompt, I was led to an older post of mine. As I read it, I could not help but see the family connection. I decided then to incorporate portions of that post into this week’s prompt because it is fitting:
My nephew has my birthmark on his chest. My face has my mother’s nose, and my smile is etched with my father’s teeth. I interact with the world as if on my own. It never occurs to me that I swing my arms like my Aunt. Or that the decisions I make may have already been made before. After all, they say there is nothing new under the sun. I cannot swim. But maybe that’s because the Great Flood has traumatized me, for I can still taste salt water seas on my tongue. Have you ever thought about the make-up of a blood line? The reality that maybe you inherited these ways only to gift them to someone else one day. I smile at the thought. What would a little girl look like with my eyes, my words and my hands on her hips? How do I know my favorite tree in which to rest my exhausted spirit from the soles of the Earth did not bleed with the stench of my ancestors? And have I ever fathomed why Hurricanes take the exact same route as the slave ships? Can it be that suicides still burn like melted ash upon the ocean floor? Its smoke intermingled with the wind as if to intercourse themselves into one before marching out to the beat of Negro Spirituals I could have sworn I just heard on the radio last night. Or maybe that’s just the Harriet in me. Family. We bond deeper than flesh and thicker than blood. A connection of bodies strung together, we thread ourselves into mixed fabric. Family does not relegate itself to kin, but it surpasses genetics and is reflective in a close friend, a loyal co-worker, a longtime lover. Family is the strength of struggle, reaching down to scrape me off the floor, or build me up when need be. I could Webster dictionary Family, but it is of no use. A dictionary cannot page itself into the substance of what it means to treat others as you yourself would like to be treated, or ponder the reasons why deception never really could separate close friends. Among its many words a dictionary will never fully articulate the experience embodied simply by way of a bloodline. So I suppose I could seek to decipher the definitions behind the syllables but they will not fill me. How could Webster ever fathom the depth of someone who is willing to die for you? This is family.