Last Month Michelle of Bleeding Espresso wrote a poem modeled after George Ella Lyon’s, “Where I am From.” She included a form you can use to collect your own thoughts, and finding myself in a momentarily ambitious state, and procrastinating a less-than-ideal last minute assignment, I accepted the challenge.
I found this post to be exactly what I needed to re-energize my writer’s spirit, and memorialize my family’s heritage. And, now – “Where I am From … ”
I am from a town with two stop lights, a Sonic, a Dairy Queen, and six gas stations. Where the wind spins the dust in tight circles, and a familiar face awaits you at every corner.
I am from bluebonnet pastures along the Texas highways, and from where the Big Thicket meets the Wild West.
I am from the Hunter’s Breakfast, the first Sunday morning of deer season, with homemade sausage, cream gravy, and buttermilk biscuits, where stubborn pride was passed from my mother, her mother, and her grandmother.
I am from fierce family loyalty that defends to the end, who might think a negative thought of another, but would never allow an outsider to say it. From “Blood is thicker than water,” and “Don’t let your Maw Maw find out.”
I am from the Holy Spirit Catholic Mission, built with the hands of my family, and based on their values. I am from rushing inside the temporary tin building to get the seat beside my grandmother. I’m from two collections a week, and “Why don’t you give a little more, if you can?”
I’m from rural southeast Texas, northwest Louisiana, France, and Spain. I’m from the land Columbus discovered, where we dance the pow wow and embrace the native land. I’m from Scotland, or Ireland, or somewhere in between.
I’m from sausage and chicken gumbo on a brisk, fall day and beef tips with rice and fried okra on special occasions. I’m garden grown tomatoes and freshly picked cucumbers. I’m shelling purple-hull peas with Paw Paw on his white-washed porch. I’m telling my mother about my day while she develops pictures in our newspaper’s dark room. I’m picnics in the driveway with Cole on bright sunny Saturdays, complete with stale Doritos and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I am from albums needing to be finished and digital photos waiting to be printed. I’m from boxes spread throughout southeast Texas, and two silver bins here in Italy. The pictures taken as time stood still, in a moment when we were young, and problems seemed nil. I know where I’ve been, and who I am; Where I am, but not where I’ll be. I am from all of these places, where memories and traditions are gathered like fallen leaves in orange and gold bundles. This is where I am from.