This year WYSO and Tecumseh Land Trust sponsored Living on the Land, an essay contest inviting writers of all ages to reflect on what home and land mean to them. Izabella Kraus won honorable mention in the middle school category.
I sit on my railing staring at the setting sun. The snow on the tips of the mountains glistens. The street is quiet. The fragrance of different dinners mixes in the crisp fall air. The dew starts to gather on the tips of the grass. A moving van to my left is open with all our possessions in boxes.
The big move came so quickly. The transition between Utah and Ohio, the grand move, has begun. My mind traces back through all the memories I have about friends, family and the land. My backstory was written here.
I look up at the purple sky and moving clouds. In the distance, an eagle circles to land. A white sycamore stands next to our house, branches leading up like a staircase to my window. Animals skitter through the underbrush. I hear my mother call my name and I swing up the sycamore like a monkey to crawl through my window and go down to dinner.
After dinner I return to the porch. I hear an owl screech. I watch the moon rise. Its light reflects off my face.
The next morning, my mom wakes me . . . moving day. Driving into Wyoming, I see a group of men chopping down a tall tree. I think back to my sycamore and I realize, like an eagle, I will always have the land inside of me. From my perch, I learned I am the land. Take care of it. It will save me.