As the sun made its appearance this morning, a song I hadn’t heard in years came to mind. I tried to remember the words . . . The sun shines bright on the old Kentucky home.
I left my Kentucky home in 2004 and moved farther south. The culture and people were not that different. The dialect was basically the same other than a few words here and there. Y’all quickly became part of my vocabulary instead of you all.
After living in East Tennessee for eleven years and embedding myself in the community, our family picked up and moved far north to Alaska. Being four thousand miles from the south meant everything was different. The weather, the food, and the dialect.
We have been here almost five years now, I have adapted to the culture. I eat differently, think differently, and live differently. Survival is at the forefront of my mind more than ever before. You don’t live in -60 temperatures without survival instincts kicking in.
According to my Alaskan friends, the one thing that hasn’t changed would be my southern accent.
It’s often they try to imitate me. Sometimes it comes out pretty good, other times not so much, but I laugh – thrilled at their attempt.
When my native friends occasionally sing or speak in their native tongue, I don’t always know what they’re saying but I think it’s beautiful.
Something I have found to be the same, wherever my journey has taken me, is the language of love. Love is universal and has the same characteristics wherever you are in the world. If I’m in a fly-in village far away from everything or in a bustling city, God’s love is present in a warm embrace, spending time together, helping out a friend in need. Love is only a feeling until it is put into action. When we come together in unity and love we all speak the same language.
Guest post by Shelly Sulfridge
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