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A Canoe

Flickr Creative Commons

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. Rose Tyler won honorable mention in the high school category.

The water is a murky blue, and each time our canoe propels further, the rippling trail behind me delicately braids the water and then falls loose, like when I take out the braid in my own hair.

I run my fingers through its wetness, and marvel at its vulnerability. The substance that makes up so much of my body and so much of my planet dribbles through my fingers like whispers that eventually trail off into nothingness.

The river is the vein of my planet, and the current keeps it pulsing with life. My canoe and I are blood platelets that swim along with the flow.

The sky above me projects an elaborate reflection onto the water below me. The jagged representation gets mangled by the smack of my oar against its image.

The still warmness of the air lulls me into a daze, but the sharp movements of the water send me back into alarm.

I am with my friend. She is here with me for one of the last times before she moves away.

I thank the river for holding the memories of our moments on its surface. That current carries the memories of countless centuries, and now it treasures my venture down its grassy banks as well. They are sacred to me, so I am thankful that the earth holds them too.