A close up of a blurred woman wearing a hoodie with a mountain in the background

“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 wildly simple.
Yet, it is fueled by adrenaline.
A speck on the map, isolated.
Yet, people come in droves to satisfy a longing that is innate within every breathing soul—

Adventure. 

Where I come from jagged snowcapped peaks tower above and molten lava slumbers below.
Hot springs, waterfalls and lakes are scattered throughout the land,
Hidden gems awaiting discovery.

I’m constantly in awe of the height and breadth of it all.
One glance at the stars painted brilliantly in the skies above,
And I’m dumbfounded.
I can’t help but drop my jaw. 

The grandness of Yosemite to the north,
The arid and vacant Mojave to the south,
Our town is one link in a chain of small communities
8,000 strong—
With the capacity to house 55,000. 

Unassuming. 

It thrives on tourism and
Is transient in nature.
Yet, those who stay, are committed. 

Puffy jackets, Patagonia, beanies, Mountain Hardwear,
Trail runners, workout pants, North Face, windblown hair,
There’s no need to dress up.
But on occasion, we create an excuse to. 

When the girls get together, the lineup makes me smile
Subarus, Sprinter vans, Jeeps and Toyotas
Roof racks, winter tires, Hondas and Rovers

Where I come from,
We lock our doors to prevent bear invasion
And delays on the highway are due to snowstorms and deer migration.

Dirt coated. Dented. With new roads to explore.
But there comes a point when we turn off the engine
Because the backcountry only caters to legs, skis and mules. 

Life is a thru-hike of valleys, peaks, deserts and ravines
Of seasons, of cycles, of unexpected scenes.
Daily, I set out to find
Beauty in the simple things. 

Where I come from,
The wild side of femininity is unleashed.
The adventure—
Innate within every human being. 

Where I come,
Mammoth Lakes, California, USA.

Image via Taylor Butters

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