I am from a home with a basement of endless imagination, from cabbage patch dolls and playing meeting on the stairs.
I am from the beautiful wood house on top of the hill with grand view of bluff and valley low.
I am from the outreaching arms of the cactus, the slight scent of honeysuckle, the short dirt road leading home.
The pinon trees scattered across dry land, the sight of blooming rose and the unmistakeably fresh air of a small town.
I am from forming circle around the guitar while raising voice in song and leaving long pause in the center of my speech, from Bryan John and Kimberly Sue and the individual journeying of the Turgesen girls.
I am from the knowing how to rally up around people I care for and accepting the unique place we all have on this rotating rock.
From "keep your heart soft", the unspoken language of believing in each other and subtle speech teaching great, big, beautiful lessons.
I am from meetings in homes and hymn books black, from honoring the spirit of goodness and seeking out your own understanding. From tolerance and open-minded learning, from finding your path and valuing differences.
I am from my mama's womb, from the desert of AZ and the love of my parents. From Norway and Denmark and from places I will never know. From sky and earth and water and fire...from the whisper of the creator and the magic of life.
I am from the quiet conversation around evening cups of coffee and from mashed "patootshkis" making my dad smile.
I am from the warmth and freedom of a father of five who gives light back rubs and who opens the world to understanding. I am from his silent communication and from his gentle strength in dealing with life. I am from his example of living as though people are learning from you and from his acknowledging the sacredness of life.
I am from the vivacious energy of a mother of five who exerts herself in a million different ways. I am from her compliments and worries and the creative pulse that leads her into new territory. I am from her encouragement and her ever present belief in my abilities.
I am from ancestors many, whose lives lead and dip into mine, somehow moving and shaping me along the way.
I am from hair tied in rags, from stinkbug races and making perfume from flowers. I am from pictures on walls and tucked into albums, from stories told across lips young and old, from exchanging experiences and supporting in community. I am from villages far and wide, close and near.
I am from the heartbeat of the earth, from the wings of angels and from the storms in the sky.
I am from life.