I’ve been receiving fantastic feedback from these postings. By nature, I enjoy the review and suggestions. Over the weekend, a Duke Divinity School staff colleague (an experienced blogger!) of mine sent me a very helpful email about this blog. Per my last post, she too, was not clear as to what my blog is about, but is sympathetic to me traveling the path to discovery.

She offered also that the blog name, “God’s Acre,” is a bit presumptuous – something that I took for granted having known what (and where) God’s Acre is. Certainly, I do not want anyone to think that this is “God’s space” or that I am writing on God’s behalf. Rather, as she pointed out in her email, it is important to identify the blog name as the sacred cemetery at Old Salem, North Carolina.

During my undergraduate studies at Salem College, God’s Acre is where I found peace, and it is symbolic of my time there. It captures the experience, the Moravian way (all stones are equal), and the beauty of Old Salem and Salem College. My colleague suggested adding a photo (or a name plate) of God’s Acre in the title – a stellar suggestion! It places the title back to it’s original space, and reminds me each time I see it of its inspiration.

Most of all, my colleague encouraged me to keep writing – which for me means keep exploring, listening, and engaging my energy and passion.

As time moves on, I know that the objective for this blog will become clearer. It already has. I gravitate toward writing about land, home, sacred space – and for me, Old Salem and God’s Acre are central to those themes. Writing about the experience of attending a women’s college in a historic village is energizing, and something I have been doing for years. Now, each paragraph and each memory gets clearer with age – and a more mature, reflective Dana is able to process it readily.

So, thank you all – for your comments and feedback. Please, keep it coming!

Photo: God’s Acre Cemetery
Photo Credit: Brian Leon,
Used with permission

Blogging toward …

After learning that I was blogging, a friend asked me, “What are you blogging about?” My mind went blank, and I had to think of how I was going to articulate what this blog means to me in a clear sentence. Distracted by something else in the room, we both went on to the next thing (indicative of today’s fast-paced, multi-tasking culture!), but his enquiry stayed with me throughout the day.

What am I blogging about? Many of my friends have clear purposes for their blogs: book reviews, sharing the adventures of their first home, travel, parish ministry, and the anticipation of a baby.

Thus far, I’ve written about the story behind the name of the blog, a very special small town in Indiana, and hometowns. These posts all have common threads: land, reflection, home, growth, geography. They are small glimpses of the grander themes that seem to be in keeping with “God’s Acre.” This indeed is a time for trying out new seeds, nurturing what works, reflecting on why (or why not) it’s working, and knowing when it’s time to plant again.

Thanks for joining me on this (sometimes) obscure journey!

Image: Spring Turning by Grant Wood (1936). Reynolda House, Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, NC.

Where’s home?

During the typical discourse of introductions and networking, we’ve all been asked, “Where are you from?” While some of us are certain of the answer, the rest of us are ambiguous.

In the profile section of Facebook, there is a window for the user to input your hometown. Users are forced to decide – where am I from? Where do I call my “hometown?” I’ve filled out this window more than once (and deleted it more than once), with the names of different towns where I’ve lived, never quite being able to land on which town I want to claim as my “hometown.”

In my last blog entry, I wrote about Dana, Indiana – a precious little place in Western Indiana where I visit during summers, and where lived a child. I could claim Dana. I was born in California, and so I could claim it. I would certainly call the long period that I lived in Reidsville, NC, my most formative years -middle and high school, first boyfriend, church formation, and accepting a call to ministry (First Baptist Church, Reidsville). Reidsville would certainly qualify as a suitable response for any hometown enquiries. Still, I’m ambivalent – having lived in California, Indiana, and several towns in North Carolina.

To be coy, “home is where the heart is,” and that is always true. Hometowns, however, may be subject to other variables.

Where do you call your hometown? What’s in a hometown?