Sunday, March 26, 2006

Genes link me to Welsh and English roots; grace links me to Someone greater

I AM A CELT. If I understand the term correctly, I am certainly a Celt: Living on the edge of conquering kingdoms; a ruddy uplander and outlander; given to poetry and song amid work that advances barely beyond a grind; steeped in traditions that can be hardly recognized in the main; earnest, intense, and idealistic; independent and resistant, with a penchant for self-defeating self-righteousness; resignedly hopeful; moved forward by some distant reality--past or future--that pulls at the heart.

WELSH ROOTS. The name Hay, as I have come to understand my particular lineage, is Welsh. Hay is a term used to describe a forest or wooded area. The Hays were forest-dwellers or those who lived at its edge. Sheffield, my mother’s English-sourced name, is more readily traced.

GRACE OVER GENES. To the point: none of us are purebred, high or low. Along with Welsh and English, there is Dutch (Avery) and Native American and likely sundry other tribal blood in my veins. Lineage is no cause for pride or shame. It is no excuse for shortcomings. Glory not in lineage. We all come from somewhere, but we will leave a first-generation legacy. May our legacies not rely one iota on what particular or combination of genetic pools from which we formed. May grace, not genetics or pride or shame of tribe, describe our lives.

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