Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

I so enjoy hearing from you...so leave me a comment; it'll make my day!

Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I Am From...

I Am From...
by Debora Rorvig

I am from a lumber mill worker’s company house
with peeling paint and a sidewalk made of two by fours.
From faded flannel shirts that smell of pine and cedar boughs.

I am from Mason Jars of homed-canned pears,
from Dairygold milk with cream on top
in bottles on the porch.

I am from a garden plot with rows and rows of golden corn
that always wanted hoeing,
and from atop the highest branches of the Gravenstein apple tree in the Attolini’s orchard-
with apple juice dripping from my chin.

I am from saurkraut and wooden shoes-
the Millers and the Youngedykes,
and from the lively Scottish clan
who wear the McKinnon tartan.

From farmers and woodsmen
plain folk all,
who’s hands were calloused hard
but who’s hearts were tender-soft.

I am from ‘what will the neighbors think’
and ‘if you can’t say something nice,
don’t say anything at all.’

From saints and sinners who didn’t see eye to eye
but loved each other anyway,
and in their own way.

I am from the Western shores of Washington
strewn with agates,kelp and driftwood,
from Steelhead salmon, salty smoked
and chowder made from clams we dug
at Semiahmoo spit.

I am from my mother Ruby,
who taught me how to sew
on the old Singer treadle machine;
and told me all about my heritage.

And from my daddy, Raymond Claude
who took me nightcrawler hunting in the moonlight
and showed me how to bait my hook
and fish along the Nooksack River’s edge.

I am from an ancient, tattered Holy Bible kept safely on the upper shelf
with pictures of Jesus Christ
and a letter edged in black- carefully tucked inside.
There are births and deaths recorded there,
and a poem by great- great grandfather Alexander Laughlin Mckinnon
who I never met--and yet I know him
better than some I’ve met.
Precious is that Book to me.

And that is where I am from.
I created this poem as a tribute to my ancestors and a gift to my family. I used a common meme called "I Am From" based on a poem by the great George Ella Lyon, as a loose outline. You can find this outline at http://www.swva.net/fred1st/wif.htm. Try it! You'll be surprised at the memories that will stir in your heart from this exercise.


ellen b. said...

This is great Debora! I might have to tackle this outline and see what happens! Fun to read about your history in this form....

Anonymous said...

Mom, that is a great poem. It will surely go in our album for your grandchildren to read and to share with their children so that when they are rich and famous, they don't forget where we came from.

Debora said...

Thank you Heather. I will write it in my own handwriting for your album. And I'm glad you're going to keep our heritage alive. That means everything to me!

chickory said...

what a lovely introduction to you - i love how it touches on landscapes and the work and leisure that relates to those landscapes. You reminded me of the old Marion Bible that was in my childhood! It had beautiful pages that were edged in gold. There was a picture of Moses in the Bible -it was a photograph of him my Michaelangelo - but I thought Moses was the Devil because he had horns....actually they were carved to represent saintly rays. Thanks for this lovely poem, and the memory you sparked. I might try this myself!

Anonymous said...

I thought I had left a comment but it has disappeared. This is incerdibly beautiful and should be published.http://lindaoconnell.blogspot.com/

Debora said...

This is high praise indeed, coming from you! Perhaps you can give me some publishing advice. I'll contact you privately. Thank you for your feedback.

Joey said...

Oh, Debora, I love this poem. What a great tribute to those who came before...

Anneliese said...

You wrote that beautifully! A wonderful way to remember your past ... and inspiring. It's so good to remember where we come from.

Grandma's Goulash said...

Missing microfiction?

I'm hosting a new microfiction meme.
Succinctly Yours
begins on Monday, March 28th. Check out the link for the photo and optional word.
Hope you'll join in.


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