Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I am From

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime.
~William Shakespeare

Today is my mother's birthday.  She is away visiting her sister who is also celebrating her birthday today.  My aunty is 80 years old, she is 13 years my mother's elder.  Knowing they are celebrating getting older makes me reflect and think about where I am headed and where I am from. 

I recently read this post of Kellie's on Don't Look Now!  I thought it was lovely that she was from a similar place to me but never thought I'd write my own poem.  Then, at times unsuspecting, the poem sprouted and before I knew it my poetic juices were flowing and I had my own history penned.   So if you think you cannot, you will not, I encourage you to let go and see what might flow.  It is actually quite cathartic.  If you do write your own "I'm From" poem please let me know so I can join you in learning more about where you're from.  If you follow the links from Kellie's poem you will find the original from whence it came.

So here's a sneak peak of some of me.

I’m From

I’m from tireless pioneers, hard-working farmers and long dusty trails. From blacksoil plains, deceptive mirages and vast, tree-studded horizons.  From small country town, regional farming community and “townie vs cockie” the former is me!  From Mehi River, Gwydir River, where rivers meet. 

I’m from maternal ancestors trekking across seas, across lands; from England to South Australia, into northern New South Wales, up to central Queensland.  From sheep grazing, wheat farming then cotton as well. Corrugated iron sheds, blue-topped cotton modules, and seasonal “snowy” cotton lined roads.  From worshipping in a country church built by relatives of friends.

I’m from aesthetic beauty: flowers in the garden, arranged in vases, floral shows as well.  From cakes carefully decorated by my mother’s own hand, from embroidery, crochet, sewing, handmade.  Fixing loose threads on my clothing, “not the good scissors!”, stashes of fabric, buttons, binding and ribbons.  Always dressing well to go out.  From Sylvia’s fabrics, pattern hunting and fabric matching.

Paternally from Denmark to Australia, right into Queensland, freezing to heat.  From food production, apple orchards, vegetable growing and home baking.

From awkwardness, confusion; leadership and faith.  From silliness and laughter with my treasured brother and sister.   From independence and competence, achievement and success.

From “hugs and kisses”, “hugs and kisses” among siblings at the end of car journeys, upon arrival at our holiday destination, the “Uh-oh better go to bed” and “I wear my sunglasses at night, to keep my panties on tight” fun play with siblings.

Photo found at

I’m from the bright yellow daffodil, pretty pink poppy and rich red rose, the calm Carbeen tree, breezy Belah and the beloved, guarded unique Leopard Tree.

From the smoking besa block incinerator in the backyard, the besa block “barby”, begrudged family trips to the dump.

From oranges, mandarins and almonds in the garden, lawns always watered through hot summer months.

From home-sewn school uniform and Dad-knitted navy cardigan, from tights keeping legs warm from pesky, shivery Jack Frost on our front lawn

From Sunday roast dinners and baked beans on toast, salad plate lunches, toast fingers with soup.  From Potatoes La Jolla, Herbed Chicken pieces from “promite, not vegemite” or “vegemite not promite” sandwiches in lunchboxes.

Piano lessons during lunchtime, then through swimming lessons in high school. Piano duets in my best friend’s Mum’s bedroom on weekend retreats from boarding school.  Boarding school challenges, fun and successes.  Singing and singing, and singing some more, “Yes, Jesus loves me”, Christmas carols and rhymes.  Renaissance polyphonies, madrigals, and contemporary and sacred choral works.

I'm from sharing my music, from teaching tiny littlies, imparting my intuition and knowledge to the families I meet.  From meeting my beloved and sharing in our union, from bearing two treasured, precious daughters who now ofttimes lead me in my journey.

And now I am me, here today, returned to the start, growing veges and living down south in South Australia from whence my ancestors came, living and loving creatively, following my Creator.

Farm photos courtesy of my brother and sister-in-law. 


Kellie said...

It is beautiful Cee! Thank you so much for inviting me to read about where you are from. I was born in Wedderburn in Victoria & my family moved to Gravesend when I was 10. So we were indeed close to eachother. Once you start this process it is hard to stop isn't it! Have a great day & thanks again!

Cee said...

Kellie it is true - we were close. Your poem sounded so familiar when I read it. Now that makes more sense.

Thankyou for visiting and leaving me such positive words.

David said...

This is pretty much how I remember it Cee :)

alecat said...

Just lovely, and very inspiring! :)
The photos are great, too.

Fröken Skicklig said...

Dear Cee,

I took a little pause from working and stopped by for a virtual visit... Thank you so much for your lines - the ones here and the ones on my blog!

Sending you the sound of wild geese and warm thoughts from Sweden,


Cee said...

Dear Juliane

How lovely to see you, thanks for virtually visiting. It has been most pleasant. Perhaps we will hear those geese while we are outside this morning enjoying our simple beauty.

Sending you some floral beauty.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful poem and photos. You have such a lovely way with words I could see the imagines in my head as I read it. Loved it.

Judy Garland

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