Posts Tagged 'belonging'

the house of belonging

This past winter I was at my dad’s place picking up tack (horse riding goods). He was tossing around halters and ropes and headstalls when he threw an old pair of spurs aside. I asked him where they were from and he said they were his dad’s.

My grandfather died when I was two. I know very little about him.

I picked up one of the spurs as my dad continued to rifle through boxes. Underneath layers of dirt and grime, it was beautiful. The metal was etched with a floral design and the leather had carved flowers, my grandfather’s initials, ranch brand and the town where he lived.

My dad picked up the other spur and threw it in the old oil bin he was using as a storage container and motioned for me to do the same.

As I walked away with my horse riding loot, I felt sad that such a beautiful piece of history was decaying in an old oil bin.

Later that night I snuck back out into the shop and stole the spurs.

After some TLC (and secret communication with my stepmom), the newly polished spurs, along with a photo of my grandfather and a badge from the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Posse he was in during the early 40s are displayed in a shadow box, which I gave to my dad for his birthday this past weekend.

Kitty sent a little extra love on the corner.


One thing I related to early on as a small business owner is people really want to belong. We want to belong to a cause, to a group, to ourselves.

That feeling of recognition, of being known, of acceptance and belonging starts in our families.

In this internet age of things we can’t touch, distance between each other and emoticons in place of face to face expression, this feeling of belonging has been redefined by time and geography (in many positive ways) but lacks pulse and texture.

I long for a sense of history, to know the stories the weave the roots of my ancestry together. The feeling of belonging.

To this end, I plan to do a family history, a modern “family tree” of sorts, for my dad for his next birthday. If you have ideas or tips on resources, let me know!

p.s. Even though my dad’s favorite birthday gift was probably the huge bag of taffy, I think he was really moved by the shadow box. :)


In honor of belonging… one of my favorite poems from David Whyte. Take another moment of pause and read the poem slowly, as if enjoying your favorite beverage.


I awoke
this morning
in the gold light
turning this way
and that

thinking for
a moment
it was one
like any other.

the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
I thought

it must have been the quiet
that filled my room,

it must have been
the first
easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,

it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.

I thought
this is the good day
you could
meet your love,

this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.

This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next

and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,

the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun has made.

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.


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