Know what you are looking at right there? It's kind of cool.
It's a log from the house I was born in.
See, I have a bit of an interesting birth story.
I was born in a pre-civil war era log cabin, down a long dirt road on the Mississippi/Alabama border. In fact, the house was so much on the border, that when I applied for a passport to go on my honeymoon, it took us over a year to prove that I was a US citizen.
My parents were young and and enthusiastic and idealistic. And dumb. A pair of crazy hippies whose sole contingency plan was an old, unreliable truck with a hole in one tire that my father periodically ran out to pump up with a bicycle hand pump. Just in case.
The entire idea of which scares the ever loving crap out of me, especially considering that I had an emergency C-section with Sterling and she was in cardiac stress by the time they operated.
But that's part of what makes the story so much fun. The fact that they threw caution to the wind and decided to do things their way. It was a time when no one had alternative births, no one breast fed, and yet they had the independent spirit to do something completely different.
So when I look at this log, it isn't just a big block of old wood to me.
It was there the moment I came into the world, it's steeped in hundreds of years of love and sweat and tears and is a part of my story.
It is reminder of where I came from, but it's also a touchstone to ground me in my leaps into the future.
It is both a physical reminder to be grateful for my family tree, but also an emotional one.
My father was the doctor, my mom was the nurse. My amazing great-grandmother, Sterling Rose's namesake, came out to that house to see me. My recently departed grandfather cut this log from wreckage when the house burned down, then brought it north. And my wonderful stepdad scoured my grandfather's belongings today to reunite it with me.
It is soft, almost velvety to the touch, tempered by decades of storms and sun and life. It still bears a hint of its original pine tang, and a ghost of smoke and creosote from the fire. It's silvered skin bears the marks the settler's axe made when he chose and shaped this log for his home, and the newer marks from where my grandfather cut it loose from the wreckage.
It is a log. It is my birthplace. It is a part of me. This is where I came from. And I am so incredibly grateful to have it back with me.