You are a product of your ancestry. Your DNA, your ethnic background, maybe even your talents, quirks and proclivities can be traced back to who came before you. Start with yourself. Write your personal history. Keep a journal. The more you learn about your ancestors, the more you will know about yourself!
As Wendell Berry so aptly put it: “If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.”
Here’s a fun challenge to create a prose essay entitled Where I’m from. Here’s my rendition using the template:
I am from Dutch Ovens, from Boston Baked Beans and apple cider.
I am from the house at the top of the hill, in the unheated bedroom, with the intoxicating smell of lilacs in spring and foliage screaming, “Orange!” in the Fall.
I am from Mountain Laurels, Pussy Willows and the last of the Lady Slippers.
I am from clam bakes and rummage sales, Town Commons and church bazaars.
I am from hard-working Connollys and Kileys; I am from Candy-Man-Who-Sailed-Around-the-World.
I am from the family of hard-knocks and pick-yourself-up-and-try-again.
I am from “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” and “you can be anything you want to be.”
I am from Midnight Mass, then the Sacred Grove.
I’m from Yankee stock, Cailíns and Pilgrims, apple pies and whoopie pies.
I am from the great-grandfather who panned for gold in the Yukon, the grandparents who built their home from “hurricane lumber” and the “mail orderly of Teddy’s Great White Fleet.”
I am from blueberries fresh picked from the bush. I am from the invigorating surf of the never-warm Atlantic.
I am from a childhood of freedom to roam, explore and dream.
This post is part of the A-Z Challenge 2014