I am from endless shelves of books to read, from Cabbage-Patch babies and blanket forts in the basement.
I am from the Grandpa-built house with green shutters, and a sunshine-warmed deck with flapping clothes on the windy line, smelling of sunshine and clean cotton.
I am from the snowy winters of skating on the marsh, snowflakes covering our front yard and sparkling in the light of street lamps, snow forts, sledding, and soggy mittens with stuck on bits of snow.
I am from summer camping trips and dips in the PEI ocean waters and a collective bookwormishness, from finishing nearly the entire Nancy Drew series in one camping trip alone, I am from the Carters and the Prossers, from love in the form of a Sunday pot roast.
From Nana and Grandpa’s house for sleepovers and cereal-that-rots-your-teeth, aunts, uncles, a few cousins to love on, neighbours, friends, and church family potlucks.
I am from being “dragged along” on family hikes, ordered to look out the window at nature’s beauty while on long car drives, and quiet Sunday afternoons in between morning and evening church services.
From quick-like-a-bunny, and some-good! (emphasis on the ‘some’) whilst licking self-picked berry-stained fingers in July and biscuit shortcake immediately following.
I am from (of course) the Baptist church (where else?), and from the carefully crafted ‘salvation bracelet’ with its five colours at Camp Wildwood, from sword drills and Pioneer Clubs, from memorizing the books of the Bible, and youth rallies.
I am from playing ball hockey in the street and moving the net aside so the neighbours can get to their driveways. From the dutiful love of hockey night in Canada, and the potato chips and orange juice that accompany it, along with staying up late just to watch the first period with Dad.
I am from the Annapolis Valley and from the Maritimes. Then from the displaced-became-home Big City far away.
Homemade shake-n-bake chicken served with hodgepodge. Real maple syrup and maple candy poured out onto the fresh snow at my feet. All-you-can-eat Lobster Dinners with butter-dripping and shell-cracking.
I am from the summer that my parents forced my brother, sister, and I all on a 14-km hike by the ocean, for the sake of family togetherness and fostering a love for creation. We nearly died (from complaining too much) but secretly loved it. From crisp blue skies framing the brilliant colours of autumn, crunchy leaves under my feet giving way to boots leaving my mark in the snow.
From the ridiculous personality differences that exist among my parents, siblings, and I, and from the quiet and reserved love that somehow still permeates.
From the academic pursuits and encouragement to life-learning, through books and schooling, or otherwise.
I am from the big city and the suburbs, from the blue-room closet and the stacks of yellowing photo albums chronicling my childhood. From the sense of identity, belonging, and a place called ‘back home’.
I am from that skinny, freckled “where’d you GET your LOVELY red HAIR?!?! girl, unsure of who she was.
From being formed by such a childhood, to become the woman I am today.
For where I am from.