#reverb14 is the opportunity for us to reflect and project throughout 2014. Each month, Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting on a new prompt. Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.
Origins: Get back to our roots. Where are you From? Is it California, Minnesota, China, Ireland, Earth? Do you know who you are? How you tell people where you are from, and why?
When we were out for dinner a few weekends ago, Beka asked me, so did you ever leave Minnesota?
The answer to this question is No. I did not. My mother’s German ancestors immigrated from the old country to an aptly named farm town tucked outside of the Twin Cities called Cologne. The French-Canadian and Italian bunch on my Father’s side settled right into Northeast Minneapolis where they promptly infiltrated the fire department.
What they say about this state of ours is that either you will leave and come back, or you will never leave at all. In true fashion, neither Marcus nor I ever left.
Contrary to popular belief, we do not live on farms or in igloos. Nor do we eat grape salad or lutefisk on the regular.
Rather, the Twin Cities are home to the second largest theater market in the country and Hennepin County has something on the order of the highest number of college degrees per capita in the nation. Despite the depths of winter’s cold, people still come here to make this state their home. Minnesota is home to the largest community of Somalians outside of Somalia and the largest community of Hmong outside of Laos. We have more than 10,000 lakes and more coastline than the state of California. Over the course of a year, our temperature will range across more than 120 degrees. 18 Fortune 500 Companies are based here.
I think that everyone, to some extent, believes that the place they call home is The Best. That the everyone else who calls somewhere else home is a simply dreaming. But truly, it is so wonderful to be here and not somewhere else.
Every year, all of us make the decision to stay in Minnesota. We decide after a winter of record cold, or a winter of record snow (it is always one or the other – the odds of a brown winter are so rare) that instead of fleeing to Florida, or at the very least somewhere milder, we will stay here. We praise every season besides winter for its gloriousness, ignoring the fact that in the last 12 months, only four of those months were snow-free. There is actually a very serious discussion about whether or not our state should instead be called The North and not part of the Midwest because let’s face it, we have more in common with the tundra. End of story.
So I am from here. We are from here. As I was telling Marcus about all of this, he said it so much more simply than I ever could: Plymouth. We are from Plymouth.
We were went to elementary school here, we went to high school here. We grew up four years, separate school districts and six miles apart. We would end up moving into a townhouse exactly halfway between the two. This is where we are from.