With Due Regard to Stinging

“I worried so much about how I looked and whether I was doing things right, I felt half the time I was impersonating a girl instead of really being one.” 
― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

The last 46 years marched impetuously and abruptly . Yesterday, my face was free of wrinkles and rumple and crumple. Today’s dawn brings a mirrored reflection of a crow and its foot. Seriously. My 10 X magnification mirror spreads no lies . The stark reality that I will have lived on this earth almost 50 years is right around the corner and I am shook. Almost 50 years of trips around the planet and hair curling and heart trampling and hard church and big food gatherings. Photography, art and crying – loss and anger and confusion. Childbirth and death and sloppy love and tangled up tears. All of that stuff and I am going to need y’all to let me write about it. I’m going to need y’all to let me write with pictures, with art and with my travel and my Schizophrenic and outré (look it up ) decorating. I’m going to need to y’all to let me tell you about the fires and the bed swing on my back porch and how being there can whisk up the exact same heart thump and swell as me walking on the same ground as Paul, our big hero Apostle in Corinth, Greece . One day, I’m going to need to write about my deep roots in all things Alabama the Beautiful and my childhood church, misunderstood, lovely and flawed and existing now only in my mind. Sigh

I’ve been told that my maternal great-grandfather, Weaver Sinyard , from Crane Hill, Alabama, would draw crowds of bare-foots(this description, made up by “me”, because this is how I picture in my daydream) on his own porch to hear his stories. He raised five daughters around the unclouded waters of Smith Lake. I would imagine that would be the reason just driving there makes me feel excited like I’m a little girl and it’s my birthday and how just one toe in the water feels thrilling and expectant . I would imagine that would be the whatfor I love to hear and tell stories and I love people and I love the bare-foots and I love porches and Smith Lake in Crane Hill , Alabama . I have no doubt that those gatherings of my family living around that Lake and their faith are why I love acapella singing and old country churches and a deep heart for the Kingdom and a following of our crucified Christ. I know they are why I love southern American cookery and fishing and long dusty drives with the windows down .

Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sits, you inspire shouts of joy —Psalm 65:8

*Photo taken by my hubs, Scott, at beautiful Smith lake in Crane Hill ,Alabama with our precious empty nest ‘therapy’ dog, Dobbs the Bernedoodle

I love the book and the movie The Secret Life of Bees,written by Sue Monk Kidd-so many life giving quotes and life applications… ” I hadn’t been out to the hives before, so to start off she gave me a lesson in what she called ‘bee yard etiquette’. She reminded me that the world was really one bee yard, and the same rules work fine in both places. Don’t be afraid, as no life-loving bee wants to sting you. Still, don’t be an idiot; wear long sleeves and pants. Don’t swat. Don’t even think about swatting. If you feel angry, whistle. Anger agitates while whistling melts a bee’s temper. Act like you know what your doing, even if you don’t. Above all, send bee’s love. Every little thing wants to be loved. ” So lovely the thought ‘send bees love”…Watch the movie, and watch it by yourself.

My name, Melissa, happens to be the Greek word for “Bee”. So, with “due regard to stinging”, I guess this 50 around the corner thing has come in buzzing and stinging with a flash of memories – regrets and triumphs. Twenty-five years of marriage ( what?) , our beautiful kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, aging parents and grandparents. Stepping out of one faith season to a brand-new one, waste deep in uncharted waters. https://www.churchofthehighlands.com/

Like I said, I’m gonna need y’all to let me write about it.