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Who Shaped You?

by | Sep 8, 2020 | Bottom Right Box, Voices of Davidson

Four-year-old Jody Seymour and his Aunt Hattie

Family legend has it that my Aunt Hattie literally shaped me. It seems I was born with a huge “knot” on the top of my head causing my father to say the first time he saw me, “What’s the matter with the boy’s head?”

So, on hot summer evenings in delta Mississippi my Aunt Hattie would whisk me away alone to my grandmother’s screened- in front porch. She would rock me while pressing a warm cloth to the top of the “crown” of my head. While she rocked and pressed, she would sing songs of her past to me.

My head and my life are now different due to the warm touch of love. O, I still can feel a small “knot” if I rub my hand over my now bald head, but still it would have been more prominent if not for the one who took the time to shape me.

Who helped shape you?

Here is a poem about my Aunt Hattie and “the shaping.” (That is her in the picture and me running toward the camera when I was four. Notice how nice my head looks!”)

The Shaping

Looks of surprise were
present as viewers
witnessed the knot
on my head at birth
The result of a long labor
by the one
who gave me life

Noticing with love
the outgrowth of birth
my Aunt Hattie
took it into her hands
to shape my future

Knowing that heavenly hands
had sent me her way
she knew that it was hers
to do some altering
to aid the Divine-
a sort of finishing

So, on sultry summer evenings
she alone cupped
my tender head
with hands and love
shaping me as she
sang lullabies whose
tunes were part
of her own shaping

Now I am who I am
due to the touch
of one who cared so
Her smile now faded
is seen and felt
in the portal
of my soul

And now while alone
I sometimes rest my hand
on the slight rise
on my head
and know that I
have been shaped
by those who loved
me when I
knew it not

Whose hands shaped you?
Close your eyes
and remember
even if you do not
It will come
in the silence
for hands of the past
are always there

Dr. Jody Seymour

Jody Seymour retired after serving Davidson United Methodist Church as Senior Pastor for 13 years and being a pastor for forty-six years in the Western North Carolina Conference. He is the author of six books and resides just outside of Davidson with his wife, Betsy.

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