Monday, May 11, 2009

It Is What Makes Me... me.

I’ve been talking to an old friend about the things that make us who we are. It’s where we are from but much more than that. It is where we are and how we got there and the people who sang us their songs along the way.

I am back in a City. It’s a community within a city. It’s the people you know and which streets you use to get where you’re going. It makes a big difference. Do you take the back roads or do you always get on the expressway? Because there are cities within cities and your boundaries define your limits.

People have said to me a million times: I didn’t realize you grew up in town. You don’t sound like you grew up in town.

That’s because I didn’t. I lived in town, but that is only a part of where I grew up. I grew up in farm fields, and county parks. I grew up with my feet in the streams and rivers and the storm drains. I grew up in our family van driving the back roads of America looking for pieces of history and culture that most people never see. I grew up with my friends sitting on the edge of the levee and lying in the leaves.

Sometimes my new City reminds me of home. On Saturday mornings it smells like lawn mower exhaust but this morning it smells like rain soaked lilacs. With a window open I can hear dogs barking and kids playing somewhere down the sidewalk. Other times it reminds me that here, old men speak using accents that my brain lags a good 3-4 seconds behind in comprehension.

Stories swirl around you in Cities. Waiting to be sung.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully put, Kate. And I love that picture of the Mississippi. That really does feel like home . . .