I Am From
I am from the West Coast, from beaches and trees and forward-thinking ideas. From Washington that raised me and California that changed me. From houses and apartments, never alone but sometimes lonely. From suburbs and cities and far away forests, nowhere ever quite the right fit. From numbered streets, sirens, barking dogs, and construction noises. From birdcalls and squirrel chirps, and the quiet sound of waves lapping against the shore. From the places I’ve traveled, the people I’ve learned from, the foods that I’ve tasted, the scents that I’ve smelled that always make me remember.
I am from a long line of wandering souls. From those of the Overland Trail. From gold rushes and Southern roots that were deep but easily loosened. From immigrant ships departing for the known and unknown. From pierogis and bakeries and flower headdresses. From numerous churches I’ll never step foot in. From farmers and musicians and cabinetmakers and milliners. From soldiers and pacifists. From ponies in Europe and burros in the desert. From long-held grudges and moving on.
I am from a one-child family that sometimes forgot that I was a child. From a home with a soundtrack of Joni Mitchell and Dave Brubeck albums, discs of vinyl gold that were to be handled more carefully than feelings might be. From backyard Easter egg hunts and neighborhood picnics, birthday parties and sleepovers. From riding my bike with the neighborhood kids until we all got called home as darkness fell. From a family so loud there was nothing for me to do but be quiet. From summer weeks spent with my grandmother and missing her for thirty years. From gifted classes that taught me how to be weird but not how to be okay. From a tangle of anxieties and what ifs and shoulds. From Cabbage Patch Kids and jelly shoes. From fried chicken family dinners with too much pepper on everything. From butterscotch candies my grandfather hid in every nook and cranny he could find.
I am from grey and white with purple inside. From skeins of yarn that weave their way through days and tie everything in knots. From colors and threads and old lady hobbies. From weaving looms and spinning wheels and letterpresses and accordions. From huckleberry pies and curried pumpkin soup. From two young adults who look like me and are trying to spread their wings as the world has canceled the wind. From a partner who lets me be myself even when that isn’t my best. From being a caretaker for two adjacent generations that don’t believe care needs to be taken. From humbling moments and sucking it up and starting all over. From why not and better late than never. From proving it to myself and finally being okay.