I am from ancient quilts reeking of mothballs, from lemony furniture polish and well-tuned pianos.
I am from suburban bricks on a cul-de-sac, from spaces filled with books and inherited furniture, from darkened rooms with flickering Super8 family movies on Friday night.
I am from the redbud, the azalea, the tall oak and maple - the riotous daffodils, the drifts of cherry blossom.
I am from Friday's meal of potato and beans and from the Family of Righteous Indignation, from Joan and Jack and generations of Klooster.
I am from the corner of Stubborn and Devoted - the two intersect in many places.
From a house where rowdy boys riled a peace-loving sister; where quiet quirkiness was venerated.
I am from a remnant church, a community in the world but not of the world. I am equally from the wider world that then found me. I am from faith, I am from love, and I am from a life that offers grace at every turn.
I'm from Malaysia, from England, from Veja-Links and cucumber sandwiches.
From the steel-grey and ever-elegant piano teacher who guided a crowd with laughter and poise through war, heartbreaks and car crashes, always taking the higher road. From the gifted and also-elegant elementary teacher who is everything and nothing like her mother, who has a heart forty three times her size.
I am from no place - I am from Family, located on eight hearths before I was eighteen. I am the books, the photos, the film reels, the stories: the memories of a host of genetics. At the core is Family.
This post is linked as part of The Red Writing Hood, over at The Red Dress Club. The assignment this week asked us to participate in a long-running writing exercise in which we were all invited to complete the same basic form, delineating our perceived roots: where we are from. You can read more about the exercise here. I'd encourage you to try it, even if (especially if!) you don't see yourself as a writer.