Roots come in all shades of earth. Dark roots are hard for me to look at, uncomfortable to acknowledge. Light roots are the stories I love to tell, the people in my lineage that make me proud.
There is privilege in my roots (acknowledged and unacknowledged); Race, gender, and socioeconomic status provided people with resources and unearned opportunities.
There is abuse in my roots; Abuse of alcohol, abuse of women and children, abuse of power.
There is silence and abandonment in my roots; Immigrants without a language and women of little means left to provide for their children without help.
There is resilience in my roots; Hard work, long journeys from the old country of Yugoslavia, and people who made a way where there was none.
There is laughter in my roots; Men who were animated storytellers and larger than life characters.
There is rebellion in my roots; Men and women who went against the grain, questioned authority, and took risks.
And much like many of you, there is mystery in my roots. Secrets, half truths, plain old delusion, and unknowns. There was no time for note taking and history gathering during times of displacement, separation, loss, and the struggle to survive.
As we stride into Fall, I invite you to uncover your roots and see what you find!