I’ve been thinking about baggage a lot lately. The baggage we all carry with us. Sometimes that has such a negative connotation and there are so many jokes to try and help us deal with our ‘baggage’, my favorite being some relationship advice about choosing a partner in your life whose baggage matches your own. Hmmmm.
Maybe baggage is more than the bad things that have happened to us in the past. Perhaps it’s who we come from. The people that have come before us. I was thinking about baggage in the form of artistic abilities handed down. I have artists on both sides of my family I come from, and my inability to draw even a recognizable stick figure always daunted me, so I began to draw my pictures with words.
I have a grandfather who sent me the first chapter of a story he’d written when he was in college. My other grandfather was an artist, so many wonderful paintings and sketches hung about his house. My mother paints and is all around creative in every aspect of her life. My father was in theater for many years, taught theater, and is pretty impressive in the spot light. Extended aunts and uncles are artists, comedians, and children book authors. My grandmothers have quilts, blankets, and cross stitches that are so gorgeous and treasured, they are an extension of their own creativity. And then there is my maternal great grandmother. She was an Idaho Native and when I was in college, I decided to unearth her life and do a report on her life. She painted pictures, she sketched pictures and had several of her sketches become the cover of a long forgotten magazine called Ranch Romance Magazine. She sewed quilts, she crocheted and made all of my grandmother’s clothes. We’re talking top of the line sewing here. Another thing she did was write poems.
So I was thinking about all of this baggage that I carry with me, trying to put it eloquently, but the thoughts coming so fast that I can only do it justice by frantically writing my thoughts and coming to this conclusion. I will carry these heavy bags happily because sometimes, if you look close enough, you come from some pretty amazing stock and I’d rather carry around this kind of baggage than the break ups, the bad boyfriends, the ruined friendships, the disappointments.
Here is one of my great grandmother’s poems to share, written before she passed away in April of 1978.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
(For my grandchildren)
There are only three days that matter in anyone’s life.
The first of these is Yesterday.
Can you look back on it and feel that you did your best?
Or did you, somewhere, miss a chance to give something beautiful to the world?
You can never re-live it, but you do have a second chance with today.
What will you do with it?
Are you ready to meet its challenge to open your heart to happiness and share it with others?
Or will you wait for Tomorrow, dreaming and planning for what you hope will be?
The choice is yours, but remember…you cannot change yesterday,
and tomorrow may not be all that you expect.
Today is here and now.