"Blood is blood and land is land..."
As a child that sentence alone could make me cringe, run away, or want to hide. I was frequently lectured on the importance of both by my godmother, J. She too was given this oration by her father and over the years it has been perfected by both. In the mind of a child of 8 or 9, I had reasoned that she was either trying to bore or punish us purely for her entertainment. As I have gotten older, I slowly began understand the truth behind that statement.
My family collectively owns a large chunk of land just north of my grandparent's farmstead. Some is rented out as farm acreage. The rest consists of woods and thickets. Over the years, the area has been the site of many hunting seasons, bonfires, and camping trips.
Last weekend we made the trek to visit my grandparents, cousins and the land from which my family comes. After the stress of the past month, I felt my soul renewed. For me it is somewhat of a religious experience...the smells, the sounds, the beauty. The scenery was perfect and the company divine.
So, my dear godmother, J, I must confess, I now understand perfectly the reasoning behind your now famous lecture. There is nothing more important than your family, your blood... and the soil, the land, from which it came.