Musgrove has been a part of my life since I can remember. More accurately, it’s been a part of the world since the 1930’s. My great-grandmother, a powerhouse of a woman, built the property on 500 acres of lush, Georgia land. She wanted to make a home for us all– meaning, a home for generations to come. A landing place to return to time and time again. The great unifier.
Recently, having travelled back to Musgrove for a Thanksgiving Family Reunion, I’ve been struck by how many beautiful, separate memories have been formed in this place. Talking with cousins, with my mom, with my siblings, it’s incredible to know how consistent Musgrove has been for all of us. In spite of all the changes undergone in the outside world, Musgrove is a safe haven. A quiet departure from the cacophony of everyday life.
The rooms have a smell. The Spanish moss always falls in the same way– hanging from the giant, 100-year-old trees and swaying in the breeze. It’s all here! It’s always all here. The door frames with our heights that my Uncle Smith began, and that his children and grandchildren have continued.
I feel so protective over Musgrove. For so long, it wasn’t my responsibility. It was my playground. And now, although it continues to be a place of joy and fun and laughter, I feel an intense need to sustain this special place for generations to come. It’s the same responsibility that I feel towards my Nation at this critical time in history. I want to give back, and I want to better. It makes me feel adult, and helps me understand Alexander Hamilton’s desperation to establish a legacy worth maintaining.
I look at the legacy of Musgrove, this piece of land, and think: “Wow. My great-grandmother was awesome.” It feels like one of my life’s duty’s to enable my children to make the memories I did: running through the hedge-maze, eating banana pudding, looking through collections of old books, being afraid of gators. Everyone deserves that…The legacy of a place can be much more powerful than I’d ever imagined.