History is What You Are/History is What You Make

I went to see my favorite folk band play at Wolf Trap last Friday night. I grew up listening to this band because there was a time back in the late 80s/early 90s that my Aunt Susi managed them. They are a group based out of Maine called Schooner Fare. If you haven’t heard of them, and especially if you like folk music, please, please look them up. They are absolutely phenomenal. In fact, I’ll make it easy on you and give you a link to one of their songs. If you like it, you should buy their music on Amazon or iTunes. Please support incredible musicians such as these guys!

But enough of my “You should really listen to more non-auto-tuned pop garbage” PSA.

Today’s post is more about where you come from, and where you will go. I mentioned Schooner Fare because my inspiration for this post comes from one of the songs off of their newest album, Roots and Wings. The song is called, “Roots and Wings.”

(Maybe I should have called my blog, “History, Wine, and Inspiring Music”!)

When I saw Steve and Chuck Romanoff perform this song, it really made me think about the lyrics and how timely they are for someone like me. Lyrics such as:

For all the gifts that life may give you

I give you roots, I give you wings

For all the hands that lady luck may deal you

For all the chances tomorrow brings

Of all the lessons that life may teach you

May you come to value above all things

That the greatest gifts that anyone can give you

Is to give you roots, give you wings

Who doesn’t love a song like this? We are made up of equal parts where we come from and where we are going. We are oftentimes at the mercy of “lady luck” and the “chances of tomorrow.” Spot on, guys.

So in between the winning and the losing

You’ve got to live your life the best you know

Cuz some prizes you may win won’t be your choosing

And some blessings something less than you bestow.

I think about all the great stories in history. So many of these people were just at the right place at the right time. I think specifically about great Presidents and our Founding Fathers. They may have been dealt a lucky hand in the right place/right time hand, but they also gave our country roots and wings. What better describes documents such as the Constitution (roots), and the Declaration of Independence (wings). So, maybe the wings came first in this story, but you get it. These guys took the blessings they were bestowed (intelligence, rationality, political influence, etc…) and turned their chances into prizes-maybe not their exact choosing.

Think about your own parents, and the way that they have given you a foundation and family history, and hopefully, the independence to soar on your own. These are the greatest gifts. If you have them, you know.

There have been a lot of times in my life when I have taken the wings and run (flown?). Recently, however, I have started to look more for the roots. Nothing makes you feel more at peace than knowing where you come from, however unpleasant or hauntingly fascinating it may be.  Just to know.

You are history. You make history.

There is someone (alive or yet to be alive) who will someday look to you as their roots. They will want to know more about you;  what you did, who you knew, why you ended up where you are, and how you got there.

Roots are what we dig for when we need ’em

An anchor on the hill gives you wind

A person or some place to give some meaning

To that X upon the map where you began

In between the winning and the losing

You’ve got to live your life the best you can

Cuz the wings that bear you to your new horizon

Are the wings that can surely bring you home again. 

Don’t be ashamed of your roots. Don’t be afraid to spread your wings.


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