On Friday’s we silence the inner critic. The loudest of all naysayers. And on Fridays we remind ourselves that The Word is for us and loves us and welcomes us.

Your words are safe here.

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So come and write with us. Together. On one word for five minutes. And then link up your post or leave it in the comments. But remember, the one must rule here is that you visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their writing.

That’s it. The gift of encouragement – pass it on.

All the back story and details for how to play along are over here.

Today the word is the one that I heard in the echo of my dad’s voice all the way from South Africa this afternoon.

Today the word is TREE.

Go:

There’s a tree that rains purple every October at the top of my father’s driveway. It’s a royal carpet of welcome on the years we finally wing our long lost way home. Homesickness is a hard thing to pass down through the DNA to your children. We count years since we were last there, those petals crunching under foot and beneath the swing that the kids take turns to fly high.

You are never so vulnerable as when you are loving someone else.

My heart is buried under that jacaranda tree. It blooms over there and spills over while I’m walking aisles at Kmart, doing the tae kwon do pick ups, finding pledges for my kids at this year’s boosterthon.

I leave my heart there so that over here it can beat in time to the rhythm of South African sunrise and sunset. So that it can hear the hadida bird in the early spring mornings and send me whiffs of pancakes and cinnamon sugar, veld fires and that red dust that coats the evenings there.

I live here and my roots are deep but I leave a tree growing in my memory because I need to know there’s a purple road to lead me home when I come.

I have tickets in hand.

I’m only 31 days away.

And then one night I’ll sit down next to my dad on the bench beneath that tree and inhale summer and remember what it feels like to think in Afrikaans and hug the people you love in person and not just over the phone.

I love that tree. How it tells more of my story than I could ever write down in words.

A shower of purple grace and homecoming.

 

Stop.

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