Ever since I read Sharla Lovelace’s nostalgic post, “Where I’m From,” I haven’t been able to erase it from my mind. As I read her amazing debut novel, The Reason Is You, I really can’t get it off my mind. Sharla’s voice is both pure and unique. Her writing is haunting and, in my humble opinion, well worth your time.
Y’all know from my Sunday post that I’ve been working through some grief and my trip down memory lane below was a fantastic exercise for this. Like Sharla, I was surprised at the results.
On this fine Thoughty Thursday, I invite you to try it and see what this exercise brings out in you. You can find the WHERE I’M FROM template at the bottom of Sharla’s post. Enjoy!
Where I’m From
I am from backyard picnics, Slip N’ Slides on the lawn and long summer days where the air is thick with the smell of the earth. From baseball games and ocean swimming. And from holding my big brother’s hand to still my quaking knees so I could jump off the high dive at the officer’s club pool in Mira Mar.
From reading in the backseat on cross-country drives and mountain camping where you fish all day and sleep under an acre of stars at night.
I am from the crumbled foundation of a failed and ominous marriage, from fears of gang wars and economic disaster…from the continual upheaval of a life lived between two domiciles. Most of all, I’m from the safe playful haven of a home filled with female love and healing laughter.
I’m from the gentle rhythm of Pacific waves and the lazy gurgle of Missouri waterways, the vivid orange of Birds of Paradise and the sunny blooms of Forsythia in the spring.
I am from Christmas baking that begins on Black Friday and people who use humor as both their compass and shield. I’m from Jo Anne and a long line of men who share each other’s name. From Anita with her artisan baked goods and Elba with her palette of paints. From the heroic sacrifice of life-long soldiers and the stoic patient souls of teachers and ranchers.
I am from the day-school of showing up and doing your best and the night-school of fearing your best is never enough.
From a United Methodist church that valued kindness over judgment, Thursday night spaghetti dinners, and long discussions about the meaning of life. From singing in the choir and seeing God’s light illuminated through childrens’ eyes and panes of colored glass.
I’m from military bases that stretch from coast to coast, with the soul of mid-America cushioned between. From oncology wards and college campuses, from latch-key days that ended by a working mom’s desk.
From baseball games with Jack Buck rumbling in your ear to living inside the books of Louisa May Alcott and Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m from Flashdance, Madonna and Bananarama…from AC/DC and Bad Company and “Who Shot J.R.”
I’m a child of Falls Church and San Diego, Columbia and Los Angeles and, finally, from smaller towns like Rolla and Laredo. By spreading her ashes in beach havens like Big Sur and Sanibel, I’m reminded of the eternity of my mother’s love.
And I wonder…forty years from now, where will my daughter say she’s from?
The floor is all yours… Where are YOU from? Share a sentence or two with us in the comments section. Enquiring minds always want to know your stories here at More Cowbell!