A picture of water through the mountains

“Where I Come From” is a Darling series that pays homage to the cities, towns and countries that we call home. Although we are not defined by where we come from, these places are a defining part of our stories.

Where I come from
is a village in Ireland,

a small island surrounded by ocean.
Where grey skies kiss windswept green fields.

Where a mist from the meeting of wave and cliff rises to greet the falling rain,
It is a damp air that you feel in your bones.

It is a place where sunny days are understood
as mere respite.
Even as we remark on these sunny days—
that there is nowhere quite as beautiful—
we know it can’t always be.
For so much of its beauty is held in its green
that depends so much on its grey.

Where I come from
Appears at first as lots of houses and little else.

It is small enough to seem as if everyone should know everyone,
yet, big enough for this to be untrue.
With schools of two languages, churches of two creeds and too many pubs,
it is also a place of fresh air, a feeling of safety and opulent space.

Where I come from
is a place known in relation to another—

hovering around a city as ancient as it is modern.
Many of us direct our bodies there each day,
our feet joining those of countless others
as we pound the cobblestone streets on our way to work.
Though we alone, wearily yet gratefully, turn back toward this place at the close of the day.

Where I come from
appears as little if you, like most, are just passing through.
There can be nothing small about the place you call home,
A proud place where good people strive to make a good life,
A place where even as people leave, as I did,
others return,

while others still arrive
for the first time to call it home.

Where I come from taught me that much of life’s beauty depends so much on life’s grey.
Where I come from is a place so open that it invited me to leave.
Where I come from taught me that home is a choice,
and though where I come from no longer is,
I feel no other place so strongly in my bones.

Image via Raisa Zwart Photography

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