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Living on the Land, or Water?

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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. Eric S. Trowe II won honorable mention in the high school category.

Not everyone connects with the land in the same way. With modern technology, it is nearly impossible to live on the land like our ancestors did. However, I have found my own unique way through the sport of rowing.

Being out on the water with nothing around but nature really separates me from our crazy, modern world. Just like going on a hike or climbing up a mountain isolates you, rowing out to the middle of a lake has a similar effect. The truly fascinating aspect is how timeless the sport is. In the middle of the lake there are no cell phones, motors, computers, or anything resembling modern technology. We are just people with simple boats and simple oars.

There is almost no difference between our current situation and the first crew when they rowed on the water in 1790. We both use the same equipment, and there is not a skyscraper or smart car in sight.

Not only do I feel connected to the land through the water, but I also feel connected with the past and our nation’s history. When Harvard and Yale rowed against each other in the very first collegiate competition of all time, they were sitting in wooden boats and holding wooden oars just like I am now. The same boat brands even exist still today. It is truly an amazing feeling and really reflects how I live on the land more than anything else I do.