Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
I Am from Everywhere

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I am from everywhere.

I am from hemp sails at Plymouth Rock. I am carved from a stone statue
standing proud in Massachusetts. I am from blue bloods and farmers. I
am from rebel minutemen wielding muskets. I am from Solomon. The man
who walked home from war to die in his wife's arms.

I am from Peirce's and Winn's, Grant's and Jolly's.

I am from the ocean. I slithered out on my belly to find dry land. I
have never stopped looking back. I am from a mermaid, a siren, a
seagull. I am from a long line of beachcombers. I am missing myself
when I am far from the coast. Perpetually landlocked within my own
body.

I am from silver thimbles and thread collections wound on wooden
spools. I am from the farmer's daughter who married late and lived
long. I am from petite grandmothers and exceptionally tall
grandfathers.

I am from a hole in the condom. The baby girl, the tattletale, the
perpetually worried child. I am from San Diego, although I remember it
not. I am from far away families. I am from many people I never met
but whom I resemble in many ways. I am from longings and missings.

I am from Napa valley, a safe suburban cul-de-sac of my childhood
memory. Streetlights and neighborhood pools and dislocated shoulders.

I am from Jersey of all places. And The Wind In the Willows, fresh
snowfall, and Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas. I am from sledding
and chapped lips and friends moving yet again. I am from shyness,
awkwardness, and insecurities. I am from social acceptance and guilt
and dysfunction.

I am from blueberry picking in Vermont. I am from snowmobile rides
with my father and lodge sitting with my mother. I watch skiing from
the sidelines. I am from snow angels and hot chocolate. I am from
snowcapped men with ice beards. I am from magic in childhood.

I am from Virginia. I am from music halls, symphony conductors,
folding chairs, and long black skirts. I am from the power of
creation. I am from Stewart, who played saxophone sitting on the rock
in a Nova Scotia river. I am from the music he gave me in my blood.

I am from a speckled conch shell that traveled across the sea from
Scotland. I am from 400 acres in Yarmouth. I am from the stories I
heard but never loved until I heard them no more. I am from sugar
rations and bomb shelters. I am from farms and towns and cities.

I am from superstitions. I am from salt tossed over your shoulder,
knocks on wood, ghosts, and rabbit rabbit rabbits.

I am from a cloud of smoke, a tipi flap, and a crackling woodstove. I
am from a snowshoe hike up a steep hill. I am from a rooftop patio
under the stars. I am from sleep talkers, dreamers, and swimmers. I am
from a Polaroid camera and a child named Precious.

I am from the water's edge. Thick Texas mud under my nails and
clinging to my skirt's hem. I am from all laboring mothers everywhere.

I am from somewhere new everyday. I am from everywhere but here.

I am from uprooted trees. Transplanted before blooming. I am from
swamps filled with cypress trees and knobby knees. Roots in water,
moving and fluid. I am from lakes topped with lily pads. I am the
optical illusion of roots. The child holding the balloon that so often
slips free to float away to a new home. Never without tears.


Meredith Winn is a writer, photographer, and mother to her three-year-old son, River. She lives in Austin, Texas, but finds herself dreaming of the coast. Meredith’s writing has been published in HipMama, Mamazine, MotherVerse, and the forthcoming anthology Alternative Birth. You can read more of her mind on the~spirit~of~the~river.


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