This I Believe

Ashley - Iola, Wisconsin
Entered on December 7, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: place
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This I Believe

You live in many places, even if you never move. Where you live is considered your home, but home can be your room, in front of a computer, outside, or anywhere. It depends on where you feel safe and can relax alone.

The moment I was born, I had trouble connecting to where I lived. I lived in California for a while. We moved so much I never took the time to really unpack and make my space unique. We rarely had a yard, but my mom always took the timer to take me on a walk in my lime green and pink stroller. I remember bouncing as I rolled over the freshly fallen olives all over the cracked sidewalks.

When I was three, we moved to Oregon for almost a year. It was never comfortable in our ugly, pink house. Too many times I would look out the window and see a police car. That meant trouble. We had a tall, oak fence arround the yard, so we were allowed to play in my mother’s elegant flowers and admire the rings of mystical mushrooms, behind the house. I would spend hours just looking at the buds and fungi until my sister came along and plucked the colorful pedals and stomped on my fairy rings. It got too dangerous with the earthquakes and crime, so we drove five days in my grandpa’s semi all the way to Iola, Wisconsin.

We traveled across the country right to my grandma in Wisconsin, but it smelled odd, I slept on the couch, and my grandma had too many rules. I would play in her garden, stealing peas and munching on the tall wheat growing around her yard.

After my parents got sick of that, we moved into a small trailer for years. We were by a lake, so I watched the turtles crawl out of the lake and lay eggs. I would go out in my row boat and catch mud puppies. Finally, we built a beautiful house on a hill, not eighty yards from grandma.

I didn’t fit in with family or in my own home, so I found ways to get away. I took walks in the woods and just sitting in the brush or making forts. I felt like I could connect with the animals and plants. When I got older, I learned how to grow things and started a garden on my own.

Because I was new in school, I kept to myself on the playground. I was never into sports, but I still had friends. A lot of the time we spent playing games, but we were little and not always nice. I was used to being alone. I spent my time making dandelion necklaces and eating clovers.

What I have learned from this is that home is not always your house, where you are born, where your family is, or even with your friends. It is where you are comfortable to be alone. This I believe.