Where I Am From
I am from ballet shoes, from "coma com pao" chocolate bars dad would bring home from work and the wide open sea a few steps away.
I am from the tiny two room house on the beach, small and dank, filled with the sounds of mom in the kitchen singing African songs.
I am from four foot high ferns, sugarcanes in the back yard, lilypads that grew on land, the countless plants nurtured by my mother's touch, the trees I'd climb, secret hiding spots, and the sand beneath my feet on the way to the beach.
I am from large dinners with too much food and loud voices, louder laughter, from Avo Odilia and Grandpa Frank and Vovo Ana.
I am from the hard working and determined laborers, and the story tellers with tales of survival and perseverence.
From "I am Proud of you, you should be proud of yourself" and "It's their loss, don't let them get to you".
I am from grandma teaching me to pray at night, seeing God in everyday things, church on Sundays, but only if it feels right, never doubting that faith is what's inside.
I'm from Africa, Portugal, the U.S. of A., starting over again and again, knowing home is where the heart is. From "Muamba" and "caldo verde", "papo secos" and "linguica".
I am from parents who knew they'd met the love of their lives on the day they met, from a family of refugees, fleeing a country in civil war, although they'll always hold it as paradise in their hearts, from a third try, where the streets where supposed to be paved in gold.
I am from photo albums filled with memories, journals filled with poetry, video tapes filled with laughter. I am from stories of survival, renewal, revival. Books inherited from my grandmother, heirlooms gifted by another.
I am from a history of struggle, a present of love, a future of dreams. I am.
This was a lot of fun to do. IF you would like to attempt this yourself, go here for the template and instructions.