Cedar Trees of Mount Lebanon

Let’s Take a Walk

A Poem

Let’s take a walk and explore my past
I’ll share my family history, so great and so vast
Faith, hope, and love — the foundations of all
Through every endeavor, the big and the small
I embark on this journey with something to do
To learn my family history; to find what is true
I didn’t quite know what exactly I’d find
It was stunning to see that I was essentially blind
My family intrigued me with all that they’ve done
The pride and the courage, the bravery they won
From 1900 to present day,
The familial values did not stray
Distress was upon them, it nipped at their heels
But nothing could break them; they kept it all real
The Lebanese spirit ran straight through their blood
When dreams were demolished, they did all they could
They had passion for family and passion for God
For He was always with them, wherever they trod
From the mountains to the plains, and far in between
The Lebanese culture was always their scene
Dancing the dabke, linked hand in hand
They danced with each other, all over the land
The sweet smell of kibbe, for dinner at night
Brought them together to make it all right
The lessons of wisdom; the words of the truth
Have been passed down the family, starting at youth
This journey has taught me a lesson of gold
To cherish family values until I grow old
I’m constantly showered with adoration and love
My family has taught me the importance of Him above
The perseverance embodied in those of the past
Must be continued, to make the family honor last
Traditions of old have come into clear view
For I must keep them alive, in all that I do
I’ve learned of my family; I’ve learned of myself
I now know that love is greater than all else
The teachings and values have sept into my heart
For all things in life, family is the greatest part
I will honor my past with what I do now
Because without family, I wouldn’t know how

Throughout this journey of learning about my family’s past, I have discovered more about my family and myself then I ever thought possible. The lessons I have been taught growing up have been given a tremendous amount of significance, as I have discovered the true meaning and origin of each and every one of these lessons. My father has showed me the importance of family and love both through his actions and words. By delving into my father’s past, it is clear to see that his ideas of love and family have been passed down from his parents, which ultimately came from the parents before them.

Religion has always been a huge influence on each member of my family, and I never quite understood its importance until I followed religion throughout each part of my family history. Religion held my family together when they were in need, and the presence of God in their lives enabled them to look at life in a positive light that seemed to radiate on them every step of the way.

I expressed what I have learned on this journey in the form of a poem, because I believe that all beautiful things in life are somewhat poetic. Also, as a little girl, my father read me his favorite poems every night, and I have come to appreciate the wonder in the simplicity of rhyming and rhythmic words. Although the picture of the tree is simple and does not convey a significant amount of meaning at first glance, this tree ties all aspects of my family history and the values of my family together.

In a literal sense, the tree symbolizes my family tree. Every branch and leaf comes from the trunk, and the trunk comes from the roots. We grow out of and because of our family. On a more symbolic level, the tree stands for me. If I am a tree, my family makes up the roots that hold me in the ground. Without family, I cannot grow or flourish in life. To grow, I must have sunlight and care. I am who I am because of those who nurture me and shower me with love.

This project as a whole has not only taught me new lessons, but it has also expanded the lessons I have already been taught. Every choice and decision made by a family member before me had a lasting impact on those who came after them. Although the context of those choices and decisions differ from the ones that I make today, the principle is still the same. What I do and say does not just affect me, but it affects both my family today and 100 years from now. From what I know now, I choose to continue my family legacy of love, faith, and respect for as long as I may live. My family has made me into the person I am today, and for that, I am forever grateful.

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