A picture looked up the truck of a tree as the sun shines through the leaves

“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. 

Leaves crunch,
and twigs snap,
muffled under the weight of gentle footsteps.

My toes cradle fertile soil,
nails dug in,
roots, reaching and stretching,
burrowing down deep. 

Tall and lean,
my torso and limbs pull me upward and outward,
stretching me far and wide,
straight into the sky.

My skin is warmed by the sun
that gazes on two sides of one world,
that shines on countries too far apart to embrace,
that remains above me wherever I am.

My feet have found their roots in soils far and wide:
in the farmland of Australia and the suburbia of the United States.
As age has spread my feet to hold my height,
so the soil beneath me has shifted to tend my budding growth,
and bear my different seasons.

I am a tree,
planted and transplanted,
constantly moving but carrying with me
remnants of the places I’ve been,
of the ground that has held me,
of the lands that have nurtured me. 

As the sights around me shift,
and the people I hold in my arms change,
so, too, do I—
my roots transient but strong,
my colors changing with each season,
my bark weathered by storms and glistening in sunshine,
my feet constantly stepping forward,
in search of new soil to call home.

Image via Taylor Butters

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