Country for One Please

Malia - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: work

I believe in hard work. No, not that kind that leaves your eyes red from staring at a screen or with your brain feeling like it has been put through a blender, but the hard work that comes from working on a ranch.

In the hectic day to day life in the city, the country offers more solace to remember who you are and what matters in life than an inconvenience on not being able to “cell” a friend about their life. Even I put up a fight the first time I was introduced to the country. I was 9 when my grandmother took me to the ranch in Texas. It was summer with temperatures close to 100, bugs everywhere, and there wasn’t even a television in the house! Like any kid I was miserable, waking up before the sun with no morning time cartoons and heading straight out after breakfast to brave the turkey and chicken coops.

In no time I was looking forward to each day. I am not the smartest person around but the ranch is built off hard work that anyone can do, not just the brainiacs. From growing fruits and vegetables to working cattle and tending to other animals, I learned how to survive off what the land can provide. There are long hours under blazing sun, fixing wood fences, mucking stables, or simply feeding the animals, but it’s worth it. To know that what sits in front of me isn’t from some far off distant land but what I had a part in making. So I can’t tell you the square root of some number, or write a masterpiece novel, but I can show you how to tack a horse.

I believe in hard work that brings calluses to my hands and a tan that I’m always frustrated to lose when returning to the city. The country is where I feel I belong, where hard work is measured not by how many words per minute I can type but how well I can live, and after a long days hard work there is no better feeling than watching a sunset from the back of a horse.