I’m from the bathtub of blankets and Little Women rustling pages. I’m from the farmstead, the Knights of Mahaffie and midnight walks to tether-ball broken playgrounds. I’m from principal for a day and backyard archaeology and I swear that’s a sea turtle buried behind the kickball field. I’m from bike rides to Dillons and walks to the library, from tired young legs sticking to a mother’s prescribed path. I’m from kitchen chair blanket forts and October ice storms shattering Bradford pears.
I’m from the land of the Jayhawks and sunflowers, farmers fresh markets and frigid winter visible breath. I’m from flip-flops in January and driving home for high school lunch. I’m from the arms of Jessica Darling and darling Anne, from Campanile hills. I’m from Grecian suns and Irish storms, a Gemini and Cancer and half siblings with whole hearts. I’m from a bad futon and good blanket, from sitting as close to the window as possible for the beautiful light despite the cold on the other side. I’m from the theater boards, a drama queen from center light and best friends. I’m from slow cooking rice and sausage jambalaya, from my father’s cooking and my mother’s laugh and the thought that my grandma is proud of me. I’m from the Goo Goo Doll drives with saddened best friends, summer theater work for no pay but great pictures.
I’m from my niece’s premature fingers to six year old walk to kindergarten. I’m from my brother’s southern drawl heard only every few years, from a family scattered and heartened and whole. I’m from land-reached stars and slow summer buzzes. I’m from constant noise and color and laughter and banana bread. I’m from local music and rye whiskey. I’m from banjo playing and tent laying, the Wakarusa valley with seasoned burned brush and silt bottomed lakes. I’m from Edward Scissorhands before early cheerleading practices, my dad’s bad jokes told so well they’re hilarious – from my mom’s constant laughter, regardless. I’m from sorry shady gardens and cold snow walks to help my dad bring in firewood to dry. I’m from grandma’s Christmas candy and the chance to fly West to see those heartily loved but seldom seen. I’m from bluegrass and dead grass and library sciences. I’m from clean kitchens and farmers’ markets, from America’s bread bowl and the heart of the country. I’m from the written word, the sung word, the words written to my sister in steam on a bathroom shower.
I’m from Christmas’s always together at my parents house, from the bannister and basement and crawl space by the heater where I used to read until my dad didn’t want to keep lighting the pilot light. I’m from reading at recess, from Shel Silverstein and from the children’s boxcar. I’m from V.C. Andrews and Christopher Pike, crates of books beneath my sister’s bed that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. I’m from a backyard summer tent, the collected Goosebumps and *Nsync tangled in miles of orange extension cord. I’m from homework asked for from the teacher, the winner of Race Across the States, from Quest and games of Risk.
I’m from Manderley and Narnia, from Hogwarts and Hobbiton and Ender’s game. I’m from books taken without knowing, pretty covers stacked in basement shelves, from no limits and encouragement to explore. I’m from tornado alley and a Roman hotel just of the Colosseum. I’m from wanderlust and travel and drinking underage in Cancun. I’m from my family’s trip to Paris, my parent’s trip to Hawaii and my grandparent’s travels to Puerto Rico. I’m from an uncle who likes to sleep naked and a fiance who talks in his sleep. I’m from frozen breath in cold lungs, from Captain and Diet Coke (NEVER regular Coke) and Earl Grey tea with tons of honey and a little cream. I’m from still believing in Santa Clause always believing in Rory Gilmore and copious coffee.
I’m from a girl who wanted to read and write and be more than her long hair and awkward limb. I’m from Disney magic and nostalgic longing and spring runs in grey rain that pops the green around it to emerald. I’m from the yellow brick road and ruby slippers. I’m from future motherhood and impending marriage, from homeschooling and farm steading and sustainable support. I’m from your local library, from mood swings and crazy and chocolate and caring. I’m from my parents standing by the fountain, my mother’s long hair and lace wedding dress contrasting my father’s handle barred mustache.
I’m from a chalkboard in my mother’s hand, written in front of bare walls in a freshly built house. I’m from my grandpa’s blossom tree and my face pressed close to my sister’s, no space between us.
Where are you from?