On the way home from the airport the other day, my cabdriver, a charming man from Ethiopia, asked me where I'm from—a seemingly simple question for which a suitably simple answer still eludes me. Where am I from? My birthplace? My heritage? My nation? My current place of residence? Born in Rhode Island, the child of an American mother and European father, living abroad most of my childhood, moving frequently as an adult, and currently anchored on Bainbridge Island, I often feel as if I'm from nowhere and everywhere.
My secret response is often "Earth," but beyond the realm of Mork and Mindy (for those of you familiar), and perhaps, a few New Age environmentalists, I have a feeling that this would be perceived as either affected or flippant. Wanting to be perceived as neither, I kept my efficient one-word response to myself and shared a few of the places that the question "where are you from" evokes, prompting another question from my charming cabdriver—what place do you like the most?
It's been a while since someone's asked me that one—yet another historically, crazy-making question. In the past, I would have explained how I like many places for different reasons. I might have thought about another place I'd rather be. This time, however, I found myself realizing that lately I like wherever I am—and what an amazing place to be.