Archive for February 11th, 2007

I Am From

I am from a birth at the edge of the sea.  I am from  learning to swim in the cold chlorinated waters of the YMCA at age four.  I am from breasting the waves breaking on Ocean Beach.  I am from swimming in ice-edged tundra ponds in the Sierras.  I am from paddling about in mud bottomed ponds.  I am from waterfalls pounding their relentless rhythm on my head.  I am from hiking three miles up a desert wash to swim naked in a hidden spring high up in a side canyon garlanded with white columbines and maidenhair ferns.  I am from floating down a lazy river, swimming just enough to keep up with my canoe as it drifts ahead of me in the current.

I am from walking miles along the gleaming tropical sands of Costa Rica.  I am from trudging through the sands of the washes in Canyonlands National Park.  I am from listening to the wind sigh across the dunes of Death Valley.   I am from  beach combing the cold sands along the Gulf of Alaska.  I am from spreading sand on the ice covering my front walk.  I am from mixing sand into the heavy clay of my vegetable garden.

I am from standing on the edge of a continent, gazing out across the miles of water, immersed in the rhythm of the waves pounding the beach.  I am from standing on top of a mountain, gazing out across miles of forest, immersed in the howl of the wind coming over the ridges below me.  I am from standing at the trail head, gazing up at the mountain above me, immersed in the silence of pre-dawn.  I am from standing on the bank of a river, gazing at a busily foraging raccoon, immersed in the sounds of the splashing and clacking of rocks as he turns them over in his hunt for crawdads.

I am from being a toddler lost in the magic of the beans sprouting in the hot June sun, deaf to the calls of my frantic family.   I am from being lost in the magic of the primroses and moonflowers opening at sunset, the roses unfolding at noon, the crocuses greeting the morning sun.   I am from finding the rooting of plant cuttings engrossing.  I am from planting saplings and enjoying their shade a decade later.  I am from plunging my bare hands into rich black soil I have created with my compost.

I am from hours of pounding on the piano.  I am from tootling a flute.  I am from honking on an oboe.  I am from schmoozing with a trombone.  I am from coaxing beautiful tone from an inferior violin.  I am from riding on sweet sonorities teased from a superior viola.  I am from spinning a note from my own throat through my sinuses and out my properly shaped embouchure.  I am from pounding my dumbek, shaking my maracas, turning my rainstick and listening to its indescribable whisper.

I am from dancing like a dervish to the Grateful Dead.  I am from waltzing gracefully in the arms of my lover to the strains of Strauss.  I am from pretending to be Anna Pavlova when “Swan Lake” comes on.  I am from stomping in a circle of Inuit as they laughingly teach us their tribal dance.  I am from sitting as a wall flower at the edge of the gym during the sock hop after the basketball game.

I am from long novels, short stories, philosophical essays, mystical poetry.  I am from Harlequin Romances.  I am from hardboiled detective stories.  I am from historical novels.  I am from devious spy tales.  I am from classics.  I am from first novels doomed to be forgotten.  I am from radical magazines.  I am from engrossing biographies.  I am from scientific journals.

I am from long arctic nights spangled with countless stars.  I am from long arctic days spoiled by numberless mosquitoes.  I am from bundling up to cross country ski.  I am from braving the bugs to harvest blueberries, nagoon berries, and raspberries.  I am from enticing tomatoes from cold soil, from standing back from the broccoli as it burst from the same garden.  I am from having hockey teams rather than football teams.

I am from glorious quickies in the sand dunes by the sea.  I am from long, entrancing love making in a perfect bed.  I am from impossible encounters cut short by the buzz-kill biting buzzing bugs.  I am from stolen kisses in the library stacks.  I am from fascinated pre-teen reading of “Playboy”, “Fanny Hill”, and “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”.  I am from generous sharing when young and unattached, and excusive ecstacy with my soul mate.

I am a child of the Universe.  I am of the human race.

This post was inspired by Charlotte and Hentisirk.

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