Roots and My Ravenous Heart

Roots and My Ravenous Heart

1920 1440 JJ Landis

Unloved.

Useless.

These words are buried deep.

 

The seeds were sprinkled by adults

when my heart was fertile.

But it was me who cultivated.

I watered and tended.

What grew was

unlovely,

useless

fruit.

 

I was given talents.

I was gifted.

I hid them underground.

I covered it all.

They grew

despite my efforts to conceal.

But

talents

and gifts

were influenced and manipulated by those two words:

Unloved.

Useless.

Established roots held this life in place.

 

Fruit can be deceptive

with its color and texture and sheen. Its fragrance.

The praise after a taste,

I reject.

I doubt.

It’s never enough.

As others sample my pain, my life, my growth,

are they deceived or am I?

 

The dominating roots from long ago,

Unloved,

Useless,

hold me together, hold me up.

I can’t rip them out, destroy them

without losing myself.

Without them who would I be?

 

It is me – the one deceived.

 

Taste and see.

There’s health and nourishment too.

I’ve not consumed it. I’ve not smelled it. I’ve barely noticed the abundance.

Because I know from whence it grew:

Unloved.

Useless.

 

When will I take a bite and savor the outflowing of my life?

Today?

I’m hungry.

Life must grow. Growth needs life.

I am alive. I grow.

So long ago

when my heart was fertile,

the earth absorbed.

Today,

as my heart is ravenous,

I devour the fragrant, sweet, abundant fruit

that grows

from the depths of

healing.

JJ Landis

JJ Landis is the author of "Some Things You Keep." She is a librarian in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and three children. She blogs about parenting, marriage, and getting through the day at jjlandis.com.

All posts by JJ Landis

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