“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”
I grew up in a small town in the midwest. There, the rivers and lakes were clear, farmers grew endless produce along the somehow more endless roads, and the townspeople all knew who you were related to. I loved it as a little kid, running in the forest behind my house, building forts, fishing for crawdads. As a teenager, I hated it. I rebelled. I wanted to live somewhere exciting! Somewhere thrilling! Somewhere where the roads led to promises, and where no one knew my name.
At nineteen, I moved to San Diego, California. By myself. I followed my roads. I tried to make friends (it’s harder when no one knows your name). My roads have now led me to a small town in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains. I have my teaching credential, but have decided to leave the public education system in order to pursue a dream of mine: a preschool that teaches children about nature and the arts. Among the arts I teach are basic skills (which are now becoming extinct): baking, cooking, and gardening.
While it took me over 10 years to realize that I didn’t know what I had until it was gone, I am proud to say that my roads have led me to a place much like where I grew up. I still run in the forest behind my house. I play in the clear creek and river. Most of the town knows my name. And I am proud of it all. I have returned home once again.