At the end of my trip to Alaska, one of our leaders had us all write a poem called I am from. We wrote it to help us think through who we are not according to the things we do, but according to our relationships and the places and people we come from. Here is mine.
I am from a small house.
I am from the neighborhood of close-parked cars and riding bikes on the sidewalk.
I am from summer nights sitting on the porch singing songs with friends.
I am from the lake.
I am from the green water and muck fights and algae in my hair.
I am from waffle lunch at Grandma’s house on Sunday afternoons.
I am from walking in a line of cousins out to the furthest point of the peninsula.
I am from fishing in the dog’s water bowl and playing pirates in the loft.
I am from stories.
I am from my great grandmother who stood against doctors and rules and trusted her culture.
I am from my great grandfather who ran away and found home.
I am from my grandmother who held her family together with strength and courage and a needle.
I am from my grandfather who fought fire and alcohol and himself and finally conquered them all.
I am from my mother who cares for all–from the greatest to the least.
I am from my father, a warrior for his mind, his heart, and his family.
I am from the green hills and mossy mountain and music that breaks your heart.
I am from trees that spread their arms in welcome and protect with their leafy shade.
I am from the history of words and written life, from years of conflict and beauty boiled down to hopeful art.
I am from questions and yearning curiosity.
I am from stars and atoms and unstoppable force/
I am from the mysteries of thought and consciousness.
I am from the need to discover.
I am from love.
I am form the One who created the infinite, vast spaces and the microscopic worlds.
I am from grace that gives all i need without asking.
I am from the favor of the Most High God, who shelters me under his wings.
I am from the original musician, who sings over me with incomprehensible love.