We have many gifts that did not come wrapped in ribbons or stuffed in a stocking. They came through our DNA. Have you ever pondered where your innate talents and preferences come from? I’m not talking about the things you have cultivated through lessons and practice, but those things that came effortlessly the first time you tried them. Somehow you felt like you had done that before or felt an unexplained connection. Those gifts are from your DNA. We tend to focus on the physical characteristics we inherited from family, “She has her father’s eyes . . . mother’s face.” Sometimes we even recognize that we share the same temperament with a family member or make similar gestures. However when it comes to interests and talents we tend to claim those as our own. Sometimes we give credit to a family member for exposing us to something but I would argue our truly innate talents and heart stirring interests arise from the strands of DNA that were passed down through the ages and came together in the unique pattern to create you. What is my evidence? Well to start with, long before I came to understand that the majority of my dad’s family came Scotland, the sound of a bagpipe created a stirring in my soul. I was drawn to teaching, both my Grandma Sawyer and Great Aunt Helen were teachers, way before I was born or my mother for that matter, married women and mothers did not work outside the home in their day. Great Aunt Helen also ended up with a grand-daughter who made a career in teaching, both of us called to it (Could that be DNA sending the message?). Have you ever been to a place for the first time and felt an instant connection? Check your family history, you may have to dig a few generations back, but I would wager that place was significant in some family member’s life story. I don’t have to dig back very far to find family with the gift of story telling. I have no famous authors in my lineage, but I have multiple family members who were gifted in oral storytelling. As a child I was entertained by their tales of tiny people who lived among us, the family of field mice and their adventures and the love story of Horace and Henrietta the seagulls who lived on the beach in Jonesport Maine. They would spin these tales as if they had written them down, and I so wish they had. As I got older they would tell me the stories of members of the family, loved ones called Doodie and Busty (No, I am not making them up) comical events (holding a fake funeral on the beach to celebrate a birthday) and inspiring stories of persevering through tragedy. These were never just factual recounting, but entertaining and enthralling telling of family lore. Being the branch of the family that traveled the world and this great country with the military, these tales helped me understand who I came from. I would argue this need to story tell I have turned into writing novels was passed down in my DNA. Whether it is a talent, that will be up to my readers to decide, but I can tell you the drive for writing tales seems to be innately driven from within my soul (DNA?). I have tried to keep this idea of inherited traits and gifts in mind as I have developed my character Addie. She is my heroine in Pearls of Wisdom and three more books it will take to tell her story. In these books you will get to know Addie and many members of her family, Especially her mother, grandmothers and a beloved great aunt. I have developed these characters so the reader can see the DNA that makes Addie who she is. Southern women are strong and independent, but they understand the importance of honoring the family that came before them and the gifts bestowed from their DNA. In this season of giving and receiving, ponder on the gifts that your ancestors have given you and if you are so blessed what you may have passed on to your children.
p.s. Wishing you all a joyous time with your loved ones, I am taking a short vacation and will post again January 9th.