I am from a Midnight Sun homeland, a name from thousands of years of waxing and waning, and thousand-mile journeys.
I am from Johnson County summers, waking up to roosters and the Sunday Morning Polka Show, watching Deda tie his boots for chores, waiting to leap into Dunham's Pond without touching the bottom, the barn radio staying on so the cows wouldn't get lonely.
I am from church in the morning and Disney Sunday Nights with popcorn for dinner, a trust in magic and romance, a hope in a God and happy endings.
I am from a world without fathers, of movies and bowling three times a year, and an earliest memory of being left, my red tricycle winding me away and back.
I am from long sand flats stretching out to the Target Ship, walking toward Boston and singing into wind and waiting on a cloud-banked sun, charcoal and salt in the air and Granmma teaching me to ask, "Is that a petting dog?" on the way home.
I am from a woman of purpose and fierce love, who wanted me and celebrated a miracle child; a woman crafting a life in letters with tails, potters' wheels and spinning glass, slow-rising bread. I am from still-healing brokenness, far from home.
I am from the wilderness of lesser Rockies and a school in a mansion, surrounded by wealth but having little and being the better for it.
I am from a brother who grew up too soon but still built my castles, who still can quote Sleeping Beauty and doesn't let me forget it, who will give me away at my wedding.
I am from libraries and schools, living and working in books and words and not caring for a different life to wish for.
I am from the darkness of depression, the feel of cool tiles and a contemplation of death; I am from a friend who loved me enough to call me to a way out from the dark to life, laughter and dining hall siestas, a chosen family of sisters in Woodson, Hollifield, Hurley.
I am from misquoted religion, seven years of divine silence, and perfect restoration and the 116th Psalm; from searching for home to inscribing "heavenly homeland" over my left shoulder; from being convinced of a lie to found in the truth of Romans 8.
I am from a sister-cousin who has shared my road, and entrusted to me a true and priceless gem.
I am a reborn New Englander, outlasting the tourists and riding the ferry loop for no reason but to feel at home on the water.
I am from a refound city, a moon-gazer claiming my home out of the one he traded me for; I am from vast spaces in the clouds and newfound promise, a life in the air and offered with open hands.