Every time someone asks me “Where are you from?” I have to stop and think, where am I from? Do you mean, where was I born? Where was I raised? Where did I raise my children? Where is my residence? What is my heritage?
The old joke is; Little son comes up to dad and says “Daddy where am I from?” Dad, with great discomfort, goes into the story about the birds and the bees and after all is said and done, his son says “Oh, my friend said he was from Chicago.” Agggghhhh!!
I sometimes feel like I walk around with one of those red arrows pointing to the top of my head saying ”She’s not from around here.” How long do you have to be here, to be â€˜from’ here? I was sitting at the tire store in Purcellville (at least I don’t call it Per-cell-ville, I know better than that) waiting for a new tire and in casual conversation asked the person next to me, “Are you from here?” the reply was “Oh no, we moved into to town from Lincoln 10 years ago”
Where am I from?
Do I claim the state I was born in? (California) The one my parents were raised in, and for the past 84 years Mom claims she is from, but has not lived there for the past 64 years.
Do I claim the last house my parents lived in for 30 years (Great Falls) as where I am from? Or all the other houses along the way? (Alaska, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Falls Church)
Do I claim the town I raised my girls in for over 30 years (Herndon) as where I am from?
Do you mean where I live now? (Up on the ridge, where two states and three counties meet) Now that’s a story for another day.
Do you mean what is my gene pool make up? Who were my ancestors? How far removed am I from my country of origin?
Have you ever done one of those genealogy charts of your family tree? 1 (me) = 2 x 4 x 16 x 32 x 64 etc., etc., etc. (That’s a lot of â€˜froms’.)
Maybe, I might literally be â€˜from’ here. In one of my genealogy quests I found that a relative, a McPherson, in late 1700’s married a Hibbs, (like the bridge). We found his tombstone in an old cemetery near Unison. Does that count maybe, as a, â€˜welcome back’?
Do I long too much to be where I am from, and forget to enjoy where I am? Mom (who moved 13 times before she was 20) has many sayings like, “Home is where you hang your hat” and “Grow where you are planted”. So, really, how important is it to know “Where am I from?”
I am here, now.
Enjoy me, work with me, play with me, learn with me, and grow with me, now.
Because, some day, I know not when, I will be called to go back to where I was â€˜from’.