Last Fall I attended Patti Digh’s summer camp for adults. One of the bonus sessions was a writing class facilitated by Patti Digh, Susan Piver and Jennifer Louden. All three of these women have been part of my virtual world for a long time. In fact I picked up Jennifer Louden’s “Woman’s Comfort Book” over twenty years ago when I was a young mother.
One of the assignments in that class was a “Where I am From” essay or poem. I wrote my first “where I am from” in high school and really wish I still had a copy of that first version.
Where I am From
I am from a small city in a big state.
I’m from beaches and rose gardens and hardwood floors.
From bougainvillea and La Tolteca.
I’m from story tellers and listeners, from writers and thinkers and hard workers.
I’m from peasant stock and from scholar farmers.
I am from white stucco walls and red tiled roofs.
From unlocked front doors and secrets in families.
I’m from muesli and chocolate croissants for breakfast and creamed tuna with egg on toast for dinner.
I’m from multi-family gatherings and symphonies, from high school plays and ten performances of the Nutcracker in the week before Christmas.
I am from concerts at the County Bowl.
I’m from “the smart people” and from insecurity.
From creativity, from painting and writing and gardening.
I’m from intellectuals with libraries and lectures and museum memberships.
I’m from high expectations and higher fear of failure.
I’m from many generations at every Christmas and starting our families young.
I’m from home-made school clothes and from vacations in Europe.
I am from attending seminary, from church every Sunday, from choir practice and high liturgy.
I am from agnostics and atheists.
I am from real people, trying to be the best we can be.