I stepped from the bathroom and heard the male voice coming from the other room. I stopped and listened intently. I don't remember leaving the television on before I got in the shower, I thought. Then I realized someone had called and they were leaving a message on the answering machine. I walked into the office where I could hear better. The man on the machine said "I'd like to get together...I thought I recongnized his unique husky voice so I picked up the phone and said "hello" to discover I was right, it was my cousin Bob. I haven't ever in my lifetime gotten a call from cousin Bob so I was a little cautious of why he might be calling. Lately it seems when I recieve a call from a relative that I rarely or never hear from, I can expect bad news of some kind. To my relief it wasn't the case this time.
We chatted for a minute and he told me he had been thinking and pondering the idea of how the family could get together and reconnect, maybe over dinner. He named his sister Shirley and brother Ron, cousin Doug and his wife, and my mom and sister Karen, all of whom he hadn't seen in a long time. Bob is the youngest of these cousins and he is 8 years older than me, so my memory of them as children is a little sketch. I never knew much more about them then the basics. He expressed his recent desire of wanting us all to get together again. We hadn't gathered together ever (with the exception of a few at my father's memorial service ten years ago), since I was a little girl and that gathering occured at deer camp, my sacred place.
After a few minutes of small talk, Bob told me he had read my book "A Sacred Place" and it took him on a journey into his past. He said his brother Ron had mentioned the book in an e-mail so he immediately logged onto Amazon and ordered it. He said he began thumbing through it reading all the parts about deer camp and it transported him way back into his childhood. Both his parents or deceased now, Betty his mother passed back in the late 90's, a few years before my father. Daddy was the last living of his family of nine sibblings.
When I wrote my book A Sacred Place, I had no idea who would read it or the effect it may have on some. I wrote the book for me, and my immediate family, to record our memories. The memories of life as I knew it growing up and how this special place has helped to define who I am as a person. The special connection my family has with the land is now recorded on the pages of my book so one day when I'm gone and no longer able to tell the stories, they can still be passed down to my grandchildren. That was my purpose.
I had no idea that my stories might touch the heart of others and stir a desire to connect with the past, to reach out to family. Life here on Earth is too short to not embrace it. I've learned so much about myself through my journey of writting. I'm hopeful that the stories that I've shared on the pages of A Sacred Place, will intrigue readers to recapture their own memories and leave them longing for a sacred place of their own.
Sherrie Gant is a writer, photographer, and