I am from slate floors, from bush dances and a pot of play-dough simmering on the stove. I am from arms dancing wildly to Abba and The Seekers, of eyes squeezed shut belting out a variation of the tune. I am from order and laughter, Women’s Weekly cookbooks and elaborate birthday cakes.
I am from timeshare in Coolangatta, the warm wind and black swans over the balcony. From long road trips on endless highways, with blue and pink Columbine wrappers stuffed into cracks in the seat. “She touched me!” “She’s over my line!” “Are we there yet?” I am from giggling summer sleepovers with cousins – mattresses covering floorboards, fans and wet face washers, from secret raids for midnight feasts.
I am from cakes draped with tea towels faintly scented with mothballs, from band aids in every configuration. Kitchens with oven timers, bountiful platters of strawberries, cherries and seeded purple grapes, fried potatoes sizzling away in the laundry. I am from opinions shared pointedly, rifts aired endlessly and kisses planted lovingly on both cheeks.
I am from creaky farmhouse floors, from long treks to the billabong with wary eyes out for sunbathing snakes. Electric organs with enough space for two conflicting melodies. I am from cool blackberries picked from thorny brambles, from dusty old books and the early warbling of magpies. From home-brewed ginger beer, and dried fruit leathers, from hay bales and a shed with forbidden relics. I am from words hesitantly tapped out on a typewriter, from repeated mesmerised viewings of Riverdance and peanut butter cookies stolen from the clay pantry jar.
I am from notebooks with three course histories, from French Onion soup and Chicken Puffs. I am from workbenches with motionless pink and white clowns and lead-light nativity scenes. From backstage charity fashion shows and humming kilns, to bubbling pots and a little wooden table crowded with colourful clay characters.
I am from Enid Blyton chapter books, from Barbies with home-chopped hair. I am perched high in a spiky tree turning the pages of Black Beauty. High-heeled brown boots that once belonged to my mother, gaudily coloured hand-me-downs that transformed me into a different person in another world for a brief pocket of time. I am from stages made out of fireplace bricks, cradling a little wooden guitar and singing for a rapt audience of two. I am from Ville Villekulla, with wiry plaits, a yearning for red hair and a mermaid tail.
I am from three part harmonies, snow falling on Christmas Eve in Thredbo and plane trips to the land of volcanoes, swishing skirts and leis. I am from adventure, pretending to be asleep in the backseat so that I would be lowered gently into the soft quilts. Fancy dress parties, a living room filled with people, laughter and earnest conversation.
Could it be,
that these moments created
me before I became
This post is my response as part of a challenge issued by Ann Kroeker – Writing Coach, modelled from a variation of this poem ‘Where I’m From’ by George Ella and Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher.