More Stories Behind Blackberry Cobbler

Why I Wrote Blackberry Cobbler - Part 2

As the time to release Blackberry Cobbler draws closer, I wanted to share some of the Stories Behind Blackberry Cobbler to give readers some background on novel. In my first post, (linked here) I shared that my paternal grandmother was one of my most important influences in life. I shared how I felt a sense of divine responsibility to share her life journey and many of the life lessons she taught me with the rest of the world. In doing so, I can honor her wisdom and make sure it's never lost to time. 

With those ideas in mind, I began to think about the importance of legacy and I was driven to tell a story that displays the true meaning of legacy in a real way. And that's one major reason that Blackberry Cobbler came to pass. 

"Legacy. What is legacy? It's planting seeds in a garden that you never get to see."

I love this quote by writer Carla Bruce-Eddings, as it so simply captures the concept of legacy. Planting seeds for future generations to make sure they have some good things to live by. I really want us to understand that this is such a vitally important activity of life. One we should never ignore... 

When I think about legacy, I think about the harvest of the seeds we receive from our elders that they planted for us. It's the way we learn our history and their stories of accomplishments, victories, struggles and survival. It's one way we can celebrate that they lived to tell the story. That's key for me. 

I also think it's crucial to tap the reservoir of wisdom that these elders carry within them. That serious, tried and tested wisdom, that they gained through the years, through the things they were taught, the lessons they learned, from the mistakes and the choices they made. These secrets to their victories, that can be of such a help to us, if we see and recognize the value in it. 

And let's be real... In the times in which we're living, WE NEED WISDOM more than ever! 

Just think about all the young men, walking around making critical, fatal errors, because they lacked the wisdom to make sound, proper judgments. What if those young men had Granddaddy Jim or and Uncle Joe, a wise elder voice to speak wisdom into their lives. Yes, youngsters can be stubborn... But hopefully, if they could see that this older man really cared, then those young men could see the value of that wisdom and applied it to their lives. What a different outcome they could have. It's definitely worth the effort.

Think about all the many women, who are traumatized and brutalized by men who display toxic masculinity. Yet through a lack of wisdom, these beautiful young women get mixed up with these "thugs", thinking a bad boy is more exciting than a nice guy. Sadly, some only learn the ugly truth by the harsh consequences, when they see that an irresponsible, undisciplined, immature, violent man can totally wreck your life. 

What if those women had a Big Mama or an Great Aunt Susie, who could sit them down and share wisdom about life and love. They could warn them of the man mistakes they made and teach them how to recognize a quality man. And more importantly, how to become a quality woman who attracts the right kind of man.

These thoughts and precepts on the value of the wisdom of our elders, became an inspiration that caused Blackberry Cobbler to blossom and grow in my heart and come alive in the pages of the book. 

Let me explain...

The premise of the story involves a very successful, masterful New York corporate attorney, Jax Morrison IV, who falls in love with Nina Taylor, an equally accomplished, highly sought after literary editor. They seem to be a perfect match and can see a long, satisfying and prosperous future together as husband and wife. Only a long-held family tradition stood between them and their happily ever after.

You see, according to family tradition, before she could agree to marry anyone, Nina would have to bring her intended beau to meet the family matriarch, Mama Glory, who lived on a blackberry farm in rural Mississippi. Initially, Jax was totally against the idea, thinking it was an intrusive, unnecessary waste of his valuable time. Nevertheless, his love for Nina and a desire to please her, found him traveling deep into the back woods of Waterford, Mississippi to meet her grandmother. 

During this one weekend, he'd find out if he could pass the muster and gain Mama Glory's approval to marry Nina. Even worse, to his utter dismay, he learned that he'd be spending an entire day with the octogenarian, with whom he had nothing in common, picking blackberries in the Mississippi heat. Naturally, he was not impressed. 

Mama Glory had him up early, heading out to the groves, sans cell phone or any connection to the outside world. She rambled on for hours and hours on end, teaching him all about the land, picking blackberries and then teaching him to make blackberry cobbler from scratch. Yet as the day progressed, he found himself in the presence of one of the most eccentric, eclectic, wisest, sages he'd ever met. 

As they walked and talked, picked and baked, she relayed to him her life story. In the process, she deposited volumes wisdom, knowledge and information into his soul, and ultimately challenged him... encouraged him... inspired him, to grow into a better version of himself.  While he listened and learned, Jax became transformed by this one encounter that literally changed the trajectory of his life. 

And what an amazing journey her life had taken. Mama Glory was the epitome of ... Oh wait... If you want to read all about Mama Glory, you'll have to get the book when it's released. 😇

Moving On... In writing this novel, I wanted to make the connection between legacy and wisdom and how we must make that vital connection for ourselves. Here's how... 

Recognize Our Need For Wisdom 

If we're going to become a wiser, more prosperous, peaceful people, we have to recognize where we're lacking wisdom and go find the wisdom that we need. Often times that wisdom we need can be found in our elders. They may have the answers and advice that we desperately need, but we won't hear it or get the benefit from it, if we don't make room for it in our lives. 

Seek Out The Voices of Significance

With so much information coming at us all at once, from every electronic device in our lives... TV, cell phone, tablet, smart watch... we can be so inundated to the point that we miss the vital source of wisdom coming from our elders. With so many voices competing for our attention, we have ask how much of it is really adding value to our lives and how much of it is just noise. If it's not giving us life-enhancing wisdom, then we have to learn to quiet all those voices and seek out the ones that will show us a more excellent way. That can be found in the quiet spaces where our elders reside.

Time Is Of The Essence

If we're blessed to still have elders in our lives, then time is of the essence as our elders are not meant to remain with us forever. They are the living, walking, talking, breathing history of our lives and we have to be aware of how precious they are. They have a depth of wisdom that we simply do not possess as they've earned a lifetime of it, learning the ups, downs, successes and failures of life. Only they can pass along their experiences and the wealth of their knowledge that can and will help us, if we go after it. And we must be intentional about that - to make the time to make sure it happens before they slip away from us forever.

You Are The Link To The Past, Present and Future

When you realize that you, right now, are the one who connects the past, present and future generations of your family, then you'll realize that you have to accept that responsibility and do something about it. It's up to you to sit with them, listen to them, ask probing questions and dig as deep as you can, to learn as much as you can. If not, all that richness may be lost to time. Once their voice has fallen silent, that wisdom goes with them.

Capture, Chronicle and Preserve The Voice of the Elders

Once you tap unto that source of wisdom, you have to be willing to discipline yourself to focus, listen, learn and then apply it to your life. To do this effectively, it's crucial to be prepared to collect it, preserve it and prepare it to be passed along to others. Oral storytelling is great... But we also need to do something significant to capture that wisdom in a concrete way, so it will last for generations.

Sharing Is Caring 

As we learn and grow from the wisdom of the elders, we must take what we've gained and  become a teacher of good things. It becomes our assignment to teach the next generation all that we've learned. This is major, because it would be a terrible, terrible shame, not to pass this on, seeing how badly our children need this level of wisdom. For this knowledge of their past, can hold the keys to their identity, their destiny and their future. Knowing their family history can be the very thing that inspires them to discover their hidden gifts and talents, explore their purpose and produce positive outcomes in their lives. Knowing that they come from an ancestry of accomplished people, can help point them in the direction to accomplish some dreams of their own. 

As readers take the journey through the pages of Blackberry Cobbler, it's my hope that many will come to discover the power we possess, to connect the past with the present, to impact the future. It's also my intention to encourage, inspire and even demand that you take advantage of the seasoned voices of wisdom in your lives, before it's too late. 

I challenge you to make the time, to seek them out and see what you can learn. You never know what mysteries are hidden behind those eyes, that have seen decades of life. Perhaps you will have an encounter that can change the very direction of your life. 

If you're enjoying these posts about Blackberry Cobbler or have questions, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Peace and Blessings!



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