Where I'm from writing prompt...

A friend posted this little writing prompt today and I thought I’d give it a go and share it here. It was remarkably hard for me. Partly because I’ve often struggled with a sense of rootlessness, but that’s probably all the more reason for me to need this exercise. I need to call to mind my rootedness, my connectedness. I think I’ll try this again soon, but for now this is what I came up with…

I’m From…

I am from sea glass found while walking sandy Pacific shores,
from bike rides through the campus of Princeton,
and Beach Boys albums played on repeat.
I am from the west, moved east, and back west again.
I am from suitcases and cardboard boxes turned into forts after each move.

I am from the magnolia, the pine, and the saguaro’s spiny arms stretched towards wide open freedom.
I am from rented beach houses and roasted marshmallows, and telling stories with wild hand gestures.
From capture the flag played with boys next door, treasure maps hidden behind loose fireplace bricks, and a grandpa who winked as he snuck us chocolate and sips of port wine.
I am from museums and battle fields,
fireflies and ice skating on frozen ponds.

I am from Sugar. I am from Nelson.
I’m from the reserved and the loud, the careful and the carefree,
from strength and stubbornness and audacity,
and those who make up songs for no other reason than to sing.

I am from “you are only responsible for you”, and “we take care of each other”.
From “stop being bossy” and “stop hiding behind a book”.

I am from hymns and hell fire, and jeans and praise songs.
From Vineyard and Hillsong and Mass.
From Sandy Patty and Amy Grant and opera music turned up so loud it makes the dishes shake.
I am from California, and New Jersey, and Arizona.
From deserts and coasts.
From meatloaf and escargot, casseroles and ratatouille.
I am from North and South,
East and West,
tension and paradox.
From those who seek after more and those who are content with what is.

I’m from him, and her,
and us and them.
I’m from here
and nowhere.

Grace and peace,

Bethany Stedman