By Patrick Metzger
Of all the planets in all the galaxies of this vast universe, I crash-landed on this one.
I might have been a mote of dust on Saturn, or a proton in the core of Lyra or Capella or some other distant star.
But I emerged with this curious pattern of deoxyribonucleic acid and was carried in the womb of an amazing, strong, brilliant woman. Before I had words, she taught me to sing. Before I had fears, she taught me to dance and be joyful.
My ancestors studied carefully the ways of learning and seeing, along with the limits of sight and knowledge. I was taught to wield these powers with great care and humility.
I have grown outwards across the Appalachian Mountains, from the Tennessee River up to the Hudson. I take in the fruits of the soil and do my best to give back passion in equal measure.
All of this because of my mother and her mother and her mother. All because of the strange ways of blood and beauty. All because of a certain balance of oxygen and nitrogen and carbon.
I was born into a family that showed me how to love the whole world, the whole galaxy, the whole universe. And I am forever grateful.