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09/29/2010
Andy
Danville, PA

All around the world there are lavish scenes of places, but sometimes it is those places closest to us that are the most memorable. Everywhere traveled there are things to see; things to experience. Growing up in a rural town, I found wandering through my very own backyard an inspiring encounter. The abundance of life in the summer leaves much for the imagination. Distilled cries of unseen creatures and trickling water from a nearby stream provides a sense of tranquility. Through my own encounters in the woods in my backyard, I have grasped a better understanding of who I am and what life means.



09/23/2010

I grew up on a mountain. It was a small one in Pennsylvania, and one of many due to the Appalachian Mountains. And although my mountain is really more of very large hill, I still feel an important connection with the landscape. I have watched the seasons change it year after year, I've played with my friends in the streets as often as I could, and I've been lucky enough to experience the sunsets offered from the wondrous view.

Where I grew up, the neighborhood is on the face of a hill, filled with open space cleared for the large yards, and the remaining tress linger in the background circling the neighborhood and the rest of the hill. Other hills surround the development. As a kid, I would run wild through the streets with my friends. We would race bikes down our street or to the top of the neighborhood and play with chalk in our driveways. When we felt adventurous, we would go exploring in the woods and collect acorns. During the school year, I would drive down the mountain each morning as my mom took me to school. Usually, fog covered the valley below as we descended and the sun was a soft golden as the day began. In the evenings, the sunsets were brilliant. I would watch them every night with my mother. The brightest oranges and pinks would smear the sky as the sun dipped below the hills. It was always a truly spectacular sight.

My mountain is a very special place for me. It hold my dearest childhood memories. I know the feel of the environment there the way Momaday describes a person ought to, and I appreciate all of it. I love the birds in the springtime and the trees in the autumn. I love the sunsets and the rush I used to get on my bike. I will always have a special connection with my landscape.




09/23/2010
Lauren

Can you hear them...the waves crashing onto the shore at high tide? Can you see them...the seagulls diving for their daily meal? Can you smell it...the salt-water odor rushing into your body? I am instantly connected to the beach when I hear the waves, watch the seagulls and smell the saltwater every time I enter my paradise: Hilton Head, South Carolina.

My family and I have gone to Hilton Head every year since 1990. My family first went to Hilton Head due to my father's medical conference. This means I have gone to Hilton Head every year since I was born. Hilton Head was always my favorite spot in the world because it was something in my life that never changed. Every school year, I would think, the faster every day goes by the closer I get to driving 14 hours to Hilton Head.

Every trip to Hilton Head would start off the same. We would leave real early in the morning and arrive the next day at about 4PM, the first hour of the check-in time frame, at our condo "311". "311" has been our desired condo every year since I was little. It is my kingdom. When I finally know I'm there for a week, everything is cleared from my mind and I am at peace. After everyone unpacks, my family and I go for a pizza at Snake's, a tradition on the first night of our trip every year. After dinner, my mom ad I take a walk on the beach together. It is a wonderful start to my vacation each year and it makes me so excited for the week to come of swimming, mini-golfing, shopping, and making memories.

One of the most common animals in Hilton Head are Loggerhead Sea Turtles. Since our condo is on the beach, we have to shut our porch lights off every night at ten o'clock in order to protect the sea turtles. Adult sea turtles only come out at night to lay eggs in the sand. If we have out lights on, the turtles will follow the light towards land and die. My favorite memory in Hilton Head was looking down into the nests of the sea turtles and seeing all the turtle's eggs.

After looking at the eggs, I saw another nest that contained cracked shells. Around that nest I saw footprints. They were as small as a quarter! One year, my mom and I took a walk on the beach and saw a mother sea turtle dead. It was so awful to think about but it was amazing to take a closer look at this reptile! I think these experiences with sea turtles made me grow to love them!

In conclusion, Hilton Head Island will always be a very special place to me. It is not just the beauty of the island but all of the memories I have there and all of the memories I share with my family there. I can’t wait to share this wonderful getaway with my family and make more memories throughout my life. It is a gift that I’ve been able to spend so much time on this beautiful landscape! Thank goodness for medical conferences!




09/23/2010
Kylie Romeo

In this Scott Momaday quote, Momaday is expressing how everyone should have a landscape they feel connected to. He describes his favorite landscape as East of his grandmother’s house where the sun rises out of the plain. On the porch swing of a little white ranch house I used to watch the sun set and rise, the stars twinkle above me, hear the children laughing down the street, see the leaves turn and slowly fall to the ground, and watch the grass as it went from green in the summer to snow covered in the winter. This is the I house where I grew up and spent many days sitting on my porch taking in the wonderful beauty of this place.

When I was a little girl my mom and I would sit on the porch swing and stare up at the stars and the big moon shining bright. We would listen to the crickets chirping and the frogs croaking. As I grew older and would sit out there on my own I can still see myself running through the yard as a little child catching fireflies in a plastic cup and hearing my mother laughing from the porch. This is the place where I used to think my innermost thoughts. This is where I used to go to reminisce on memories from my childhood.

When I think about this special place I can still feel the warm place I can still feel the warm sun beating down on my face and feel the wind playing with my hair. I can remember how the trees stood tall and lined up like soldiers cutting the yard in half. Their leaves bright green in the summer which would slowly turn orange and red in the fall and tumble to the ground where a little girl with long brown braids and jean overalls and her mother would rake them up in piles and spend hours laughing and playing. I can still feel the excitement that I used to feel when spring would come and the bushes would bloom with flowers. I would sprint out with a basket and pick bundles of flowers. When winter would bring a white glistening blanket of snow over the ground I would sit on the swing bundled in my fluffy pink coat and a cup full of hot chocolate and take in the beauty.

I moved into a new house when I was thirteen. Often when I drive by the white ranch house with the porch swing overlooking my favorite landscape I look up and take in the beauty for as long as I can. Every time I see the bright green lawn occupied with chipmunks and bunny rabbits and the trees that stand tall in the center it brings back many joyful memories that I had there. Many nights of stargazing and many long days of relaxation with the sun on my face. Many nights of firefly catching or days of bird watching. Many Autumn days of catching falling leaves or jumping into piles. Even though I am no longer able to do these things in my favorite landscape every time I see this place it brings back these wonderful memories. No matter how old I become I will never get too old to drive by this landscape and reminisce on old memories. I will always see a little girl with brown braids and overalls sitting on the porch with her mother. Scott Momaday`s quote expresses how everyone should have a special landscape that they feel connected to. He describes his as East of his grandmother’s house where the sun rises out of the plain. Whenever I close my eyes and picture that yard with the big trees and warm sun or the twinkling stars at night, I feel as though I am a little girl on my porch swing again.




09/23/2010
Chris Malafronte
Danville, PA

As Momaday remembers his grandmother's house so too do I remember mine. He remembers the many seasons of the year and I shall relate but three of them. The three seasons that contain the strongest memories are summer, fall, and winter. The memories are strong and vivid, ranging from years past to just a week or two ago. I shall try and give a well-rounded view of this landscape.

I shall start with summer, a warm and friendly time. My neighbor, Mr. Keller is seen walking with his kids around the loop. The great white dog, the size of a wolf, lounges on the neighbor’s front lawn under his favorite pine tree. The trees and flowers leading to my house leave great splashes of blue, red, and the occasional purple. Kids, including myself, splash around in my pool, and shouts of merriment fill the air. All join in the fun except for my brow ad black dog, Buddy, who nervously approaches the water then runs away. Summer is the most fun and relaxed season of the house.

Next is fall, the most morbid of the seasons. The kids of the house become quiet and withdrawn as the school year looms ahead. Not all is grim though, for the trees have beautiful splashes of color ranging from orange to red, and even the occasional pink. The animals slowly begin to retreat slowly to their respective homes, with the addition of a new kitten at our house. The young orange and white fur ball is surely taking away the land, or territory of the fat gray cat, and the skittish dog. Oh well, the more the merrier. The houses seem dull and lifeless during the day, but after school it bursts with life as the school goers return home and try to salvage summer fun.

Next is winter, a season so cold and desolate at my house that it has its own personal beauty. The frozen lifeless trees now form snow sculptures, usually only created by the most skilled artisans. The frozen yards take away some of the sports that are available, but add many new and exciting ones as well, such as sledding down our small hill, or having our family wide snowball

fight. The snow forts gleam with the sun in all their glory. However the true beauty lies within the house, the cat and dog sharing the fireplace, and the family gathering with mugs of hot chocolate to play a game.

Each landscape may have its own personnel charm, however I feel that the best ones are those that you have the most memories of. What place could compare with a family sitting around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning? Or when you come home from a long day of work or school to be greeted by a loving pet and all of the pent up stress just melts away. This is why; no matter the season, people will always have a strong connection with their homes. Sure you may go on vacation, but when you come back it is always home sweet home.




09/23/2010

Throughout my life I have been to many exotic places, such as India and Jamaica. Traveling to various places has made me feel connected to landscapes, especially the landscape of Jamaica. N. Scott Momaday refers in his quote to remember a particular landscape from many perspectives to experience its wonder and beauty, to feel as though you have made a connection. If you look down the beach on a hot summer day, you feel as though you are isolated and cool water touching your feet, making you feel relaxed, even on a hot day. On the other hand, the color is a color that is more unimaginable than the colors of the rainbow. Colors of blue and green mix together to form a color of rich green, with sparks of blue. This is my place that I feel the most connected because I have lived in Jamaica for two years and those two years important years of my childhood (six and seven years of age). When I look back at the landscape of the beach through old photos, memories of my childhood dwell upon me, as though it is a fragment of me, as a person and as a memory.

In the back of my memory, I remember the beautiful sights of the animal and plants that the beach provides a habitat for. I remember on hot summer days there were seagull on the sill of the dock looking for food such as flies and frogs hoping from the water to the dock. On the edge of the dock was a sight full of green grass that turned yellow in the winter. Though, the best of all was the seaweed that was on the beach’s shoreline. The seaweed provided the beach with a tone of green that was almost shiny. The animals and plants provided inspiration for me because they showed how harmonious their life was with the beach, which foiled me with a different perspective, a different outlook, a different insight on the rest of the world. The beach provides me with inner peace, that no other place could.

More special than going to the beach itself was to see the beach in different seasons. Although the physical colors of the beach, such as the grass color changed, it was deeper and beyond the color because it provided me the same feeling in has throughout the year. Despite, the physical changes, the emotion it provided for me was never lost with the colors. Instead, each new season provided something new and meaningful to admire. In the summer, the grass was green and the beach was full of life with excitement and joy. When it was fall time, the grass had two colors yellow and green, for me symbolizing a transition in life. When it was winter, the grass completely yellow and with only few organisms around, provided a calm and serene environment and atmosphere. The most vivid was spring, where all the colors that has disappeared appears and shows the beginning or a rebirth. The spring is always my favorite because it shows me that it is never too late to restart, which provides me with confidence, to believe in myself and the decisions I make because it is never too late to start over.

This landscape, the beach in Jamaica, where I grew up describes me as a person and makes me the person I am today, with an open mind, leading to different opinions and interests. The beach has shaped my identity. As the waves of the beach float, so does my mind in different directions, but soon it clams down and settles, and that is when I make a decision. The beach signifies my thinking process and shows my characteristics as a person. Admiring the beach has provided me self- realization and no other landscape can replace it because it is very dear to my heart.




09/23/2010

I am connected to the landscape of my local towns. I have always had a special connection to them. In these towns there are beautiful aspects of scenery like trees, homes, animals, and people. Although I haven't lived in towns throughout my whole life, I still feel that they are more comfortable than any other place to live at.

Season change is expressed greatly. In the Spring, the trees and other plants blossom into vibrant colors. And once it changes to Summer, the colors fade into shades of green. Then in Autumn, whole mountains change from the green, into the multiple bright colors of the Fall.




09/23/2010
Allannah Whitney

I could always smell the bayou long before i saw it.It was teeming with life,from sun bahting gators,to microscopic lifeforms.The bayou ran through the dry South East Texas landscape bringing with it life and nourishment.The bayou was the life source of the land as important as the blood flowing in my veins.

The wooden bridge connecting the small town to the surrounding island was where you would always find the local children.We would leap from the wood swollen with water into the dry Texas air
Everyday was an adventure for me.I never knew what animals I would meet in the dense woods filled with trees that seemed to reach the heavens.After a storm when the rain clung to the leaves and the hard cracked ground was solid one moment and quicksand was the next could you really begin to realize the vastness of the woods.




09/23/2010

When I was younger, I lived in Texas for six years. One of my favorite things to do there was go off-roading with my dad in his Jeep. Once, we went to a. off-road park called Trees Ranch.Our jeep had just gone down a hill steep enough to give you vertigo into a smallish ravine. It was filled with the dry, rocky dirt and gnarled cottonwood tree so typical of southeast Texas. When our group got to the bottom of the hill, we found that the trail was blocked by fallen tree branches. However, after some creative maneuvering to get ourselves pointed up the hill, we found that due to the incline and looseness of the dirt on the hill, we couldn't get out again. It was decided to have he most capable vehicles (a Jeep CJ with a V8 and a tube-framed buggy) would get themselves up the hill, and then use the winches on their front bumpers to pull the rest of us up. Two hours, several spinning tires, and one chopped-down sapling later, we were all out of the ravine. I also went off-roading many other places in Texas as well, and the dry, rugged landscape is definitely a place I want to visit again.




09/23/2010
Danville, PA

I feel connected o the temperate deciduous forest in three ways. One, I appreciate the sounds. Two, the temperature is usually comforting. And three, I find it to be very soothing.

If you have ever taken the time to just sit and listen while in the forest, you would know what I mean. The wind rustling the leaves, and birds chirping. There is also the sound of the brush against your legs as you walk and the leaves under your feet. And occasionally, there is the sound of a stream, flowing like the voice of a loving mother. The sounds of the forest are just one of the reasons I like it so much.

The next is the temperature; on a summer day it’s like being under a fleece blanket on a winter night. It is usually at least 5°F cooler in the forest than out in a field. In the temperate deciduous forest, it isn’t usually very humid either. In the winter it is usually cold enough to get the full effect of winter. I love the temperature in the forest for these reasons.

Lastly, it is a very soothing place. When I am angry I can go to the forest to vent my anger in various ways. If I’m depressed I can go, sit, and listen to the sounds. And, when I am overjoyed I can go to the forest and see its beauty and keep the feeling.

This is why he forest is my favorite place. It’s not only the temperature, but also the sound and soothingness of it. It is truly a place to gather thoughts by sitting and listening. You can also be active and sweat in the cooler temp. of its shade. Obviously, I find the forest to be the best landscape ever.




09/23/2010

I couldn't image life without the Mountains of Pennsylvania. Every day i see these mountains; it is where my family and I. The mountains of Pennsylvania. Snowboarding down a mountain is one of the greatest feelings I have ever had. The speed of the wind in your face, the snowflakes on your skin as you fly down the mountain. I don't when the winter ends.

The mountains are where I grew up. They are where I do my favorite activities. I spend time with my family in the mountains. I enjoy the view of the mountains. I wouldn't be at home without the mountains.




09/23/2010
Rachael A.

There are countless breath-taking and awe-inspiring landscapes all over the word, but none can be as close to my heart as the land my grandfather owned. As a child, this land to me was overwhelmingly large. At the time, m grandfather had two acres of land, but one acre was entirely used up by a vegetable garden. The rest included back woods with sturdy oaks and sticky pine, and miniature man-made forests planted by my grandfather to separate the garden from the house. Pine needles lay like a heavy blanket on the ground underneath the trees. There was also a small apple orchard, pear and cherry trees forming its border. In summer, a heavy scent of fruit enticed the family to go pick the burdened trees clean. The land holds many memories of my childhood.

The vegetable garden reflected Poppa's green thumb. Early summer brought peppers and string beans, zucchini and squash, and later, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and peas. Autumn, though, was the best time of year. It brought golden corn, fat and full bursting through the husks, round pumpkins, and from the orchard came apples, sweet and juicy. The plants were tall and strong, an army of plants storming the landscape.

Animals of all sorts lived in various locations on the land. Deer emerged from the woods, encouraged by salt licks. Birds swooped in on stalks of corn, but were dutifully deterred by us children. Groundhogs sniveled in the tall grass in the woods bordering the garden, and turkeys strutted proudly thought the lawn, gobbles ringing in the air. Squirrels darted to and from the hordes of acorns they collected from the trees in the yard, and woodpeckers hammered at old oaks in the woods. In the morning, mourning doves called to one another, sorrowfully heralding the new day. More creatures lay in hidden spots, undisturbed.

The sunsets were marvelous. There was a large hill to the west, stretching across the horizon. The sun would sink slowly and gracefully behind the brae, making the grass look gold or lavender rather than green. Streaks of colourful clouds were interwoven and swept across the sky. When the last of the sun dipped down and out of sight, lightening bugs put on a light show of their own, like a miniature fireworks display celebrating a grand occasion. Truth be told, the setting sun was indeed a grand occasion.

The land was always gorgeous. In the spring, flowers erupted from trees and plants in pastel rosettes. The cherry blossoms littered petals into green grass, wet with dew. Birds' songs mingled together and baby bunnies snitched sprouts from the garden. Summer was the green season. All the flowers began to fade and were dominated by verdant leaves of all sorts. Fall was fiery: orange and red. Pumpkins and corn, apples, and crinkled leaves appeared. Winter was dazzlingly white. The ground sparkled with silver-white snow, and icicles shone, hanging rigidly from the roof of the house and on limbs of the trees' skeletons. Each season brought its own beauty, and its own opportunities for experiences. My grandfather is no longer alive, but his memory is a beautiful part of my childhood, and I will always love it.




09/23/2010
Robert M. Koons
Danville, PA

When I think about all the possible landscapes that I am connected to I can only think of the desert. I'm connected to the desert through my family. I'm connected because of the animals. Lastly I'm connected through the weather. To many the desert is cruel lifeless place, but for me it is more than that. That is why I am connected to the desert.

I am connected to the desert because of my family. I have aunts, uncles, and cousins that live in the deserts of Arizona. Family means a lot to me and I feel that family in a sense is part of me. I have been to Arizona a few times to see my family, and I have enjoyed it more than anyone could know. Unfortunately I haven't been able to visit for some time now, and i long to for my return to the desert to see my family one again.

The second reason for my connection to the desert is the animals. Not just any animal can thrive and survive in the desert. Such animals must be wise, crafty and have self restraint. Since food is often times scarce in the desert, animals must use their heads to survive. It's eat or been eaten. To me, life is the same way. You must be wise, crafty and show self restraint.If you don't use these characteristics you will "be eaten" in today's society. That i why the animals connect me to the desert.

The final reason for my connection to the desert is the weather. When people think of the Arizona desert they think of the overwhelming heat, most don't think about the quiet and cool nights. I admire the desert weather, because after it takes out all of its fur in the form of heat it shows compassion for those living in it and it cools down during the night, sometimes dropping fifty degrees. I find the change to be quite extraordinary ,and i have always enjoyed it. The extreme change of the desert weather is the last reason I am connected to the desert.

The desert is one landscape above all that I am connected to. My desire to see my family connects me. The animals connect me. Lastly the extreme change of weather connects me. For all those reasons, I am connected to the desert




09/23/2010
Henry Ferguson-Avery
Danville, PA

The sound of a robin singing its song of praise and joy fill the air. An incoherent chorus of murmur is whispered from the streams. The wind blows, the trees shake and sneeze, and then, only after the leaves dance their whirlwinds of freedom, all is still. This is the Appalachian Mountains, a serene and powerful land where nature runs its course and lives through its inhabitants. The forests wear a face that lives to please and nurture its young.

I grew up in the outdoors of Pennsylvania, where the roads stretch for miles without a single human being. But the roads are far from devoid of life. The signs of small woodland creatures are about. Nuts are broken, and the sound of squirrels screeching is the loudest thing on the road. In response, the crows cry and chipmunks chirp, and they prepare to venture out again once you leave. It was here that I adventured and explored and learned, through my eyes, that the forest is a truly vivid land.

But learning doesn't only come from the eyes. I learned more with my hands and ears than by any other means. I started each day by walking outside and absorbing the beauty of the fireworks in the leaves, the faces on the logs, and the voices of the branches. Constantly, my young imaginative mind found something to do, something to be. Always I would try.




09/23/2010
Jess Holmes
Danville, PA

Tucked away inside the mountains, 100 miles from the New York boarder is a small campground called Bucktail. Up the hill and around the bend is the campsite that my family and I visit over the summer. The trees are tall and green. Their leaves branch out intertwining with other trees. Together they form a sort of canopy, shading us from the sun's outstretched rays. Poofy, white clouds float overhead making their way carefully across the clear, blue sky. The grass grows tall and green underfoot. The hot summer air is humid, but that's okay because the clear, blue pool is cool and comfortable, as well as being a fun place to play and have fun.




09/23/2010

Like N. Scott Momaday I too have an important landscape to me. My favorite landscape is the soccer fields. Since I've been playing soccer for 11 years I'm quite used to being there. Spending every day after school there it's an important part of my life now. It's especially important to me in the Spring. When the grass is thriving, green and new. The soccer ball travels across it smoothly, settling in the tiny holes when it finally comes to a stop.

During the summer the heat is almost unbearable. In the winter the trees are bare and the ground is covered in snow. In the spring the new grass sprouts out and club teams and ayso are out playing games and practicing. In the fall the school teams are practicing and the ayso teams are playing. It's a whole different world in every season we start.




09/23/2010
Katharine Baum
Danville, PA

At McKlelin, on my island I can see far across the ocean. I can imagine people steering away from the rocks and often do see lobster boats to yachts avoiding those rocks. The wind is always strong and feels free as it throws my hair in my face just to spite my looking at a book instead of at the starfish in the pink tide-pool, under the large, deformed, giant rock. I have climbed under and over that rock for a childish sense of adventure. Seaweed and kelp cover the bottom, making it seem like a forest smeared and blurred and odd. There are also clams and mussels that release bubbles from their mouths, laughing at the shock of the cold, Maine water. The summer is gorgeous and light with a shade, giving it a mysterious feel. The winter finds snow covering these rocks and frigid water covering all that is alive, making the rocks dangerous and the water deadly. I cannot reach my island then.




09/23/2010
Shane Rudloff
Danville, PA

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is always full of life no matter where I have gone within its boundaries. When the days are scalding hot, I can relax underneath a shady Palmetto Tree. I also enjoy the dolphins leaping out of the ocean trying to show off for the tourists, and all of the birds that plunge into the sea hoping to catch a fish, but most of all, I love those huge alligators lurking within the lagoons. They are such mysterious creatures with their long tails and powerful jaws. They look frightening, but at the same time, they are incredibly interesting. That is an amazing part about Hilton Head Island. It's always teaming with life.




09/23/2010
Steven Zhang

Crowds of people filled the streets, just moving along with their lives. On the top of the skyscraper was a child, watching as though he was the ruler of the world. He saw an endless number number of gray building as far as his eyes could see. The cab drivers were yelling and screaming because they were stuck in a traffic jam. At night, he heard music by men on the street with nothing else to do.




09/23/2010
Kelsey Hess
Danville, PA

As the seasons change, the leaves on the trees turn to colors so vibrant a camera lens had trouble capturing their brilliance. Autumn is a beautiful time, not too cold or hot, and there is always something to do. My sister and I gather chestnuts every fall, and I like to remember when I taught her how to peel back its prickly shell with the soles of her shoes, so she could get the little brown nut inside. Out here I learned a lot of things and passed them on to my sister. We both learned how to ride a bike on the long dirt roads behind my grandparent's house, and we learned how to swim in the endless creeks that ran through the woods.




09/23/2010
Danville, PA

I've wandered across many landscapes in my life. As I look back upon all the memories and the significance of the places, my favorite would have to be my yard. The many vivid memories of taking my first steps, learning to hit at-ball, and even playing with my first puppy all happened in this special place. My favorite season to spend time in my yard during is Spring. The smell of fresh-cut grass and blossoming trees fill the air in the spring time. The bees buzz across the yard like little warriors of the sky and the butterflies dance through the air. I play with my puppy and teach her new tricks like how to sit, lay and stay. It's a place where I can be whatever I want to be and I always feel safe. My yard is magical, like my own Terabithia.




09/23/2010
Quinn Albertson
Danville, PA

When putting some thought into what landscape I feel connected to, the same one came back into my thoughts no matter how many angles I tried to think of it. The landscape I picture is one of a long, dirt road twisting and turning through an old corn field behind my great grandmother's home. I spent a lot of time in my childhood venturing this road with my little sister, with a spring in my step as if there was going to be something different at the end each time I set foot on it. The nature, memories, and adventures must be the reasons for the spark in my mind that began this response.

My parents work during the day Monday through Friday, so it's safe to say that I was practically raised by my great grandparents at their country house outside of Milton. As a young child, I always loved seeing the narrow road beyond a yellow, rusted gate to prevent cars from entering. It was always a treat to hike that road, since my great-grandma only had enough energy to so on certain days. I remember collecting rocks along the way, my small treasures, and making bouquets with the "pretty flowers" along the way. No matter how ugly or brown they were, my grandma still let me make them the centerpiece of her kitchen table. During certain times of year, I remember picking lush, wild raspberries and gobbling them all up with my Poppy. To me, finally making it to the top felt like being on top of the world. I could see the neighbor's horses and other fields, and even some of Milton from there. My great grandma would be about halfway up the hill behind me, and my sister and I whizzed by on the race back to get the best swing, the three of us laughing all the way. I feel that these little walks made a significant imprint on me and my need for strong relationships today.




09/23/2010

It was in the woods beyond my backyard where I learned to dream. When the forest was younger, the trees stood upright and the rays of the sun would shine through the leaves, giving the world a warm, green glow. I enjoyed countless summers there, letting my imagination run wild. It rarely ran wild alone--- my sisters accompanied me more often than not. The earth was always moist, even during the weeks of no rain when the creek was quiet. I saw beauty in everything there, and I learned countless lessons.

The ground was always littered with rocks and the dead limbs of rotting trees, but there was plenty there that was alive. Sparrows perched in the trees, while mice and chipmunks ran through the grass and weeds. The trees formed a thick canopy above our heads with their arms, and we used their exposed roots as footstools and chairs. It was usually very hot during the summer, so my sisters and I liked to remove our socks and shoes and dip our feet into the cool water of the creek. The animals quickly learned to keep their distance, just in case they were trodden underfoot.

It was even more beautiful there during the fall, though the visits were less frequent. The trees were adorned in vibrant hues, various shades of deep reds, rich yellows, and burnt orange. A few clung to their green shawls, and the effect was a marvelous rainbow, not unheard of in the mountainous regions of central Pennsylvania. The creek was full but usually still. We would peer at the glassy surface, admiring our reflections, giving the pools of water fond nicknames such as 'Fairies Glass' and 'Mermaids Mirror'. Though it was often cold and the animals were quiet, I think I liked autumn best of all. Eventually the leaves would fall and give way to way to winter, the bare trees shivering in the wind.

The world fell asleep: the animals, the trees, the magical creatures we believed were among us. The sky looked as though it were scratched, for if you looked up, the are branches of the foilage seemed to cut across the blue canvas. I cannot say that I visited the forest often at this time of year. Spring would make its entrance and the world would awake and be green again. And so this went on for several years.

Now the woods are overgrown and are thick with thorns as well as leaves. The creek is dirty with litter, its banks lined with discarded bottles and old boxes. I still visit occasionally, not so often as I did then. But I will always remember my dreams in the forest, and all the childhood memories that reside there.




09/23/2010
Danville, PA

My backyard experiences many change during the year. When the new year comes and all is cold I look out of my bedroom window and see all of the frozen trees with icicles hanging off of the branches. At this time of year everything is white, the only colorful thing in the yard is the green pine trees. When spring comes around the yard is a beautiful home to many new baby animals. The air smells of fresh rain most days, and this rain helps all of the flowers my mom works so hard to plant grow. In the summertime everything has blossomed. When I look out of my bedroom window i see a sea of green, the grass, the trees, the bushes. This is my favorite time of year, it's the time when I enjoy going out to sit on our tree swing to read. When fall comes the air is crisp, the leaves start to change color and fall to the ground. By the time Thanksgiving comes around all is dead.




09/23/2010
Scotty Heeter
Danville, PA

A landscape to which I feel connected to is my house. The reason I’m connected to it is because I’ve grown up there all my life. Also, there are different stories that reside there as well. There are many things at my house and the landscape around it that I like and feel I know pretty well. There are also special occurrences that have happened there my whole life that I will never forget.

One specific occurrence that happened on this land was I learned to play baseball. I will never forget my dad and I going outside under the big trees in the yard every morning. We’d go outside and for about one hour each day he would teach me how to catch and throw a baseball. Once I mastered that he’d go out and teach me how to hit as well as catch. That is one specific way I am connected to this land.

In the end, a landscape in which I feel related to is my house and the land around it. I feel connected to there because of past experiences such as learning to play baseball and more. My relationship to this landscape is I grew up there my entire life. This landscape is also special to me because my entire family except for one aunt and uncle have lived on the land around have their whole lives.




09/23/2010

From the day I was born my mom knew that I loved nature. I always wanted to go outside, sit in the plush grass, and investigate. I remember longing to go on stroller rides on the path that lies in the dense forrest beyond my grandmother's house. During those rides, she would tell me about the wild bear she saw feeding young, the snakes that searched for water during the last drought, and the squirrels and chipmunks that played tag all summer long. She also told me about how the seasons change so naturally and gracefully. How the cold, white winter brings rainy spring, which then brings the scorching summer when all of the animals come out to play, and how summer turns to mystical fall. It's a wonder how such lush green leaves can change to such warm, inviting colors and then release themselves from the embrace of the tree branches, as if trying to speak to me and tell me that winter is here. All of these wonderful changes are present in the forrest, my second home, my love.




09/23/2010
Danville, PA

N. Scott Momaday gives us a beautiful description of his connection place. A grassy plane, with simple flowers and weeds that create the peaceful environment Momaday speaks of so vividly.

When I was six, my mother and father moved our family yet again to another location. My father was in the military and we were always moving. This journey took us from warm and sunny North Carolina to the icy cold Watertown New York. I hated the move. It made my brothers and I so mad that we again had finally made friends in North Carolina.

We moved to Fort Drum in the dead of winter. So for the first four months of our occupancy, the family was stuck indoors. There was so much snow that it got to the point where we couldn’t see out our windows. I longed for summer to come. My adventures in the house became boring and dull and my need to go outside of my house became almost a necessity.

When summer finally came, and the snow finally melted, I stepped outside for the first time. What I waited and longed for was far from a great joy. There was a bare dead looking grass lawn, and a dirt brown fence. My thoughts were that nothing exciting would ever happen.

Then, having a childish thought, I imagined a mystical land on the other side of the fence. Yet again there was nothing. The only thing there was a big old oak tree. I thought I was never going to have any more adventures and everything was going to be boring. So I thought that I should just make the most out of the situation. I climbed up into the tree.

I swear it was the longest and tallest tree I have ever climbed. But the view was worth the work. That tree became my favorite spot. I would play up there for hours, doing everything from tea parties to playing with my dolls. When I was mad or upset, I would find my way up that tree looking out over the mountains of New York. The tree taught me how to find myself in something that wasn’t me.

The tree was always changing. In the spring it had fragrant blossoms, and bright green leaves. Later it would change to the dark leaves of fall with a huge amount of acorns, and then back to snow in the long winter.

Now today the tree no longer stands, but it is a memory in my mind. A bad storm brought down the tree and future memories for more kids like me trying to have an adventure.




09/23/2010
Michael Rocci
Danville, PA

Mt. Everest is one of the most interesting landscapes in the world. It is a place where men and women challenge themselves to overcome a nearly impossible task. The weather is harsh, but the scene is beautiful. It is a place where all different kinds of people can connect with each other and create legends together. N. Scott Momaday says that man ought to examine the earth and give oneself up to a particular landscape. Mt. Everest is a landscape that relates to me and it is a place I feel connected to.

Mt. Everest can be described as a challenge to the will of humans. It is the highest elevation in the world, and many people climb it for the sport and exhilaration of making it to the top. I love challenges that test your will to its core. I can imagine working my way to the top of the mountain with the high-powered winds trying to knock me down and put an end to my journey. Making it to the top of Mt. Everest is a task that few accomplish, and some day I hope to test my will against the mountain and accomplish that task.

The weather on Mt. Everest is made up of a brutal mix between wind, snow, and minimal oxygen. With the harsh weather you would think that it would be a terrible place to see, but the view on Mt. Everest is in fact amazing. Imagine standing on the summit with nothing above you other than the stars and the earth at your feet. I enjoy experiencing new and unique things, and standing on the summit of Mt. Everest would be an out of body experience where you’re in between the earth and the heavens. With the harsh conditions, Mt. Everest still finds a way to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

People who climb Mt. Everest are from many different races and places on earth. Many people work together in order to make it to the summit and some people don’t come back alive. With this in mind, Mt. everest is a place where you work together with fellow men and women in order to survive the great adventure of climbing it. Every person that has climbed up Mt. Everest has their own tale of adventure that they pass along from person to person so other people can experience the thrill of the climb. In life I believe we should seek adventure and excitement, and we should not back down from the challenges that are presented to us. Mt. Everest is a landscape that would provide me with the adventure and challenge i seek in life, and I hope to one day create my own legend of climbing the world’s tallest mountain.

I have never been to Mt. Everest, but I have read many fictional and nonfictional pieces of writing on the physical structure of the mountain and the adventure it provides. N. Scott Momaday says people should examine particular landscapes and be able to feel and hear them throughout the four seasons. With the knowledge I have on Mt. Everest, I feel that I can put myself into the landscape and examine it just like N. Scott Momaday suggests we should do. In life I wish to seek adventure, excitement, and challenges, and Mt. Everest is a place where I can fulfill those things I wish to seek in life. Mt. everest is one of the most interesting landscapes in the world, and it is a place that I feel connects to me and provides me with the excitement and adventure I wish to seek in life.




09/23/2010
Kendra Craig

One landscape I feel connected to is the wooded area behind my house. The woods are very important to me. I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods behind my house. My family and I have spent a lot of time in the woods hiking, walking our dogs and my father enjoys hunting there, also. My favorite season to be in the woods in autumn, when the leaves changed color and all the animals are still active before the cold winter. My favorite place to be is in the woods.

One of my favorite parts of being in the woods is all the plants and animals that live there. The trees are very tall and shade you from the hot sun in the summer or hold the snow in their leaves in the winter. The birds’ chirp loudly in the summer and spring while squirrels play in the green leaves of the trees’. Deer come to the feeder my dad set near the edge of the woods for them to eat the corn and we can watch them. Once there was a bear in our woods he stayed only for a week or so, but he was small and cute and like to eat the sunflower seeds out of my mother’s birdfeeders for dinner every night. My favorite tree is one I planted when I was little it is a maple tree and I love when the little leaves changed in fall. I also love the honeysuckle that craws across the ground like a yellow blanket. Those are some of my favorite plants and animals.

The wooded area is very different through the different seasons. My favorite is autumn. In the fall the leaves change colors and fall to the ground in the light breeze, but crunch when you step on them. In winter the trees hold the snow and the ground in covered in a beautiful white blanket. In spring little flowers pop up out of the ground. In summer the trees provide a shaded area that you can escape to from the sun’s heat.

The wooded area behind my house is my favorite place to be. My family and I have some many memories there and we enjoy being in the woods.




09/23/2010
Kelly Pursel
Danville, PA

The sun rises and splashes the color of green onto the trees like a painting. The round orbs of sweet smelling fruit hang loosely from the branches; waiting to be picked, The light breeze in the morning air rustles the leaves and forces some of the fruit to fall to the cold ground for the animals to enjoy. As I stand on my porch over looking this scene I feel calm and relaxed. The smell of apples lingers in the air and soothes my senses. Like Momaday, I too have my own place where I feel connected.

As I sit in my favorite place, a little spot in the center of my families’ orchard, I notice more about what I love about it. I love that when someone sits in the tall grass and looks up he or she will see a canopy of trees overhead. Light beams through and brings a blanket of warmth along with it. I love that all I have to do is reach out my arm and pick a fresh red apple rice off the limb of a tree. The sweet smell of apples can tame the savage beast into doing anything you wish; it is a powerful scent that can tingle your scenes. Sitting there you listen to the wild around you. Deer walk through the nearby woods, squirrels are high in the trees, and ground hogs are burrowed in their holes below.

If you take a moment to listen harder you can hear the sound of kids playing in the distance. The water is flowing in the nearby creek; smooth and gracefully. When someone closes their eyes he or she would be able to put himself or herself anywhere; lying in an open meadow, tanning on a beach, or even lying in bed listening to the music of you favorite band. The possibilities are endless. My little spot of the world is where I can be free and dream my biggest dreams and create fantasies. When I open my eyes I still see the trees, animals, and fruit around me but, I still have the memories of what could be. Imagination is endless. You can take a trip to the park or Europe or maybe even Mars. Anything is possible if you close your eyes and believe. In my little spot of the world I have learned to take risks and shoot for the stars.

My spot of the world is a place where I can be me, reach for the stars, and believe. The trees, animals, and seasons all affect the way it looks but the feelings will always remain the same. I always know that when I need to get away from the world around me and just dream I can always go to my spot of the world. Everyone has their spot f the world waiting to find them. When they find it, nothing can really compare. My spot of the world is part of me and like it or not, your spot of the world is part of you too.




09/23/2010
Sam Johansson
Danville, PA

A few years ago my mom and I went to Yellowstone National Park for our vacation. We reached the parking lot for a supposed wonderful waterfall, but we found something even more spectacular. We walked up an old, beaten road wondering where the waterfall was. That, or we just wanted to escape the massive crowds and see the beauty with no one breathing down our backs. We quickly realized that the road did not take us to the waterfall because we found two buffalo not 25 yards away. We were in awe. I heard that bison weighed over 3000 pounds and that they could run up to 30 miles per hour, but I thought they were full of crap. The beasts were huge. Their heads were bigger than my torso. We stood and took pictures for about a half hour until they got a little closer. Then we got out of their in a hurry.

We then went to see the waterfall, which was truly amazing, and then we asked ourselves a question. Should we go back to see the buffalo? We decided to so we went back up the old, beaten road to look for the bison. We saw they moved way off in the distance. A little disappointed, we turned around to head back to our car to see the next sight. But we saw another buffalo behind a tree not seven feet away. We took one picture and just about sprinted out of there because we still liked our lives. Yes, that was a truly amazing experience.




09/23/2010
Taylor Mahaffy

Scott Momaday said that a person ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experiences, to look it from many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it. A piece of land or a place I feel connected to would be the beach where my family travels to each summer.

Going to the beach for two weeks every year is the best place to make memories with friends and family. A story that is very apparent in my mind would be the parties we have to celebrate birthdays and Fathers Day. The whole family is there and stories of how much trouble my parents used to get in when they were kids are always told. Another story that is funny to look back on is the time when an old friend of my parents walked by but of course I had no idea who it was, The only reason the person stopped was because I had a “Merk” logo on my tee shirt. It as quite the coincidence, Another story that we like to share is the creation of “Taylor Eggs”. Taylor Eggs is just scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese cooked in and seasoned with fresh rosemary that is grown right outside of our house. It is only a each treat, because that’s where they were created. I love going to the beach, it inspires me to not get so stressed about things because everything will work out. One of my favorite creatures that is at the beach is the groundhog that runs around when he thinks no on is looking, or the occasional starfish you find as you so not gracefully try to climb out of the ocean. But my favorite animal of all is the dolphins that swim by early in the day or late at night. It really makes me feel like I’m truly at the beach. The flowers are another favorite of mine at the beach. They are always in bloom and very bright colors. Or the smell of rosemary makes me remember the beach, which is grown outside the house and used to season just about every meal.

I only like going to the beach in late spring all summer and early fall. During late fall and all winter there is something different about the beach it doesn’t have the same feel to it anymore. The boardwalk and most stores are closed and it feel empty. I have a strong relationship with this landscape because I have been going to the same house every year and it makes me feel whole again. It is my home away from home. The warm sand, the cold ocean, and lively board walk and you can’t forget the outlets!

This is why Rehoboth Beach is the landscape I feel most connected to.




09/23/2010
Olivia Lamberton
Danville, PA

There are so many beautiful landscapes on this Earth. There is one particular landscape where I feel connected, and, as Momaday said "concentrate (my) mind on the remembered Earth...". I feel relaxed and i can just sit and listen to all the life around me. "Once in his life, a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered Earth..." as Momaday said; which is exactl what I do here. This place is the woods behind my grandmothers house; on that one old tree stump.

There are many remembered stories that reside in those woods. As a child, I would go and climb the tall, strong trees until I couldn't go any higher, or sit on that old tree stump and color in my coloring books. My mother loves flowers; so I would search the ground for the prettiest flowers and bring them to her. Those woods were "my special place." It was my own world.

Then, there were the animals. Oh, the animals I would see then i was there! Ground hogs coming up to see their shadow, or chipmunks gathering nuts for the winter. I would see fox and raccoon tracks on the ground, as well as many bugs; which fascinated me when I was a child. When i was there, my 7 year old imagination would soar, and each animal had a name, and a story.

The seasons brought wonder to these woods. Fall brought many colors, and leaves for me to play in. Winter, well, I wasn't down there as much in the winter. When I was, however, it was a wonderland. Pure white, with fresh animal tracks in the snow, and bare trees. Spring and summer brought rain and flowers. Every season made the woods different.

This special woods was my playground. Although it had no jungle gym, swings, or slide; it had trees, and a place for me to just play, and what child doesn't want that? Although I wasn't allowed to go very far into those woods, the section where I was allowed to be was mine. Just mine. I still go there when I visit my grandmother, this time with my little sister. She loves it there just as much as I did,and she also loves the outdoors, as I did. That woods is where I felt connected then, and still do now, whenever I sit on that old tree stump.




09/23/2010
Tara
Danville, PA

According to Scott Momaday, a man ought to give himself up to a particular landscape and should concentrate his mind on the remembered earth. For Scott Momaday, it is his grandmother's house and the land east of it. For me, it is my own. The house in which my family currently resides in is only around five years old. My parents bought the land and had a house built. It didn't seem like home at first with its emptiness and unbelievably rocky yard, completely devoid of grass, but over time, it has grown into something much more than just that.

In my mind's eye, I can see my house clearly, in any season or time. In the winter where there's huge blankets of snow and gray skies to the summer, which always seems to have an unlimited amount of sunshine and warmth. But the place upon this newly familiar territory that I always find myself transfixed on is the woods beyond our house, past the hilly expanse of our yard. There's a line of trees and behind that is a meadow. Unlike the ever-changing yard of

mine, the meadow always stays the same. It's always a muted golden yellow and never seems taller or any shorter than the last time I caught myself staring at it.

The meadow always has this sense of tranquility as well, no matter what season or weather. In addition to the calmness, there's an abundance of wildlife as well. I don't think there's a day that goes by where I don't see at least a rabbit. In the fall, my dad always calls me to the window to look at the turkey or deer walking along the edge of the wood or in the meadow. It's always a nice thought to know that they feel as secure around my home as I do.

Another way I am tied to this landscape is by how much time I've spent on it. How much of my life I've lived with it. I've run around the green yard so many times, explored in the woods, and read underneath the large tree that guards the left side of the house. I've spent hours in the winter outside because I'm perfectly content to lie on my back in the snow and stare upward at the hazy sky. Despite the changes that go on in my world daily, I can always count on that meadow and the woods to stay the same. My yard may have gotten grass and gained a pool and a nice porch to sit on in the summer, but there will always be the peace of that meadow that sits just beyond the outer reach of my reality. I've also experienced some of my most important years thus far while living there. I've made the transition from being a kid to a young adult in the time spent there. It doesn't matter how old I get, or how stressed or tired I am, this land will always be there, beckoning me to relax awhile in its company outdoors and lose myself in thought.

In retrospect, this yard and land beyond it are things I'll never forget. I grew up on it and found comfort in its familiarity, no matter what season or time. I'm outside reading, running, relaxing, or just thinking no matter what season. My yard and meadow make me feel at rest and despite my ever changing world, it will always be the same.




09/23/2010

For N. Scott Momaday and myself there is a landscape on the earth that we feel connected to. The golf course is the place that I feel connected to. Just like N. Scott Momaday’s quote I have a great relationship to this landscape. There are many stories that reside there, I have connections with the animals, and I love the challenges of the obstacles. This is how I’m connected to the golf course.

The golf course is a perfect green strip of land with many bunkers, water and trees. In the mornings it is almost silent with just the sound of chirping birds. Aside from the lush green grass there are bunkers, water and trees that test the golfer ability. On the greens the grass is so short it is not measureable. In my opinion, it is the most peaceful place while it offers you a challenge at the same time. It tests your mental ability along with your physical ability.

For the many years that I have been on the golf course there are many stories that have resided there. First, there are many times that the golf course just wants you to have fun. Many times in my life when I am playing with family or friends something always happens that give you a good laugh. This can be from a ball that skips across a pond or even hits a tree and then comes back and hits you.

N. Scott Momaday and myself both feel that there is a landscape on the earth that we are connected to. In conclusion, the golf course is the place that I feel connected to. As you can see, I have a great relationship with the golf course, there are many stories that reside there, I have connections with the animals and I love the challenges of the obstacles. That is how I’m connected to the golf course.




09/23/2010
Talha Mukhtar
Danville, PA

I was born in Multan, a city in Pakistan. My family and I go there most years. Multan is a big place, as big as any major US city, but it is not nearly as technologically advanced. Buildings are made primarily of brick, with no drywall. Brick houses are sturdy, but not very big. I like to call Multan the world's flattest city, because most buildings are similar in height, and not very tall. The roads are made of dirt, which is actually dust most days, rising into a great cloud as people, carts, wagons, rickshaws, and the occasional car pass by, and not settling for another ten minutes. It is always hot in Multan, but the intensity varies with the season. My grandfather, Mukhtar Ahmad, lives in one of the bigger, air-conditioned houses. The house has a gate, a small patio, and a backyard, but no grass. Instead, there is only stone floor. Outside the house, there is a big dust road, and right around the corner is a huge marketplace where they sell everything from chicken to sports equipment. You can see many animals everywhere, most raised for slaughter, the rest for milk. When I walk through the marketplace with the dust flying and the sun beating, I feel at home. However, Multan is not always like this. Every year, during the peak of summer, there is rain. It rains so hard, the entire city is flooded from the sheer amount of water hurdling from the sky. Even when the water dries up after a few days, the city's dust roads stay as actual dirt for a few weeks afterwords. But, rain or shine, everyone goes to the local mosque at least once a day to pray. That is a constant, just like the constant of Multan itself. Ilove Multan.




09/23/2010
Ben
Danville, PA

In the words of N, Scott Momaday, "Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered Earth..." In saying this, Momaday articulates what he sees as a requisite experience of life; that of remembering and reflecting upon a landscape to which you are connected. In my childhood, I spent large swaths of time in my local Little League Field, and just as N. Scott Momaday felt that he is connected to the land around his grandmother's home, i feel connected to this baseball field's landscape, which I grew up in and wish to reflect upon.

The Danville Little League field is not at all a particularly large or even accommodating place. The wind is choked with dust, the ground is hard from generations of play, and weeds poke up from the otherwise green turf that covers its outfield. I , as well as the other rising baseball stars, shared the field with a menagerie of small mammals, which were happy to seal our sunflower seeds and dig holes for us to sprain our ankles in. When these somewhat uncomfortable conditions combine, it seems that as a place now preserved in my memory, the little league field would be remembered as drab. This, however, stands in stark contrast to my current memory of the field.

One must realize that this landscape, like all others connected with athletics, transforms when put to use. Lights come on, the vacant stands fill, and what was once merely a field becomes a living, breathing place. What was formerly a landscape of dust and weeds unoccupied becomes a landscape of people. This is how I remember the Little League field; an are filled with crowds magnified by me childhood perspective. It was in this state, I believe, that I formed my connection with the old field, and due to this, my memory will preserve the area in such a state.

I did not connect with the Danville Little League field simply because of the crowds and the atmosphere, as easy as that would have been. I am connected to that field because I am connected to the lessons I retain and the friendships I enjoy, both formed on that field. I, along with countless other young boys, played baseball there, and subsequently was forced to experience loss, victory, teamwork, and assorted personalities. A full explanation of what I have learned on that baseball diamond would comprise of another essay altogether, but that is beside the point. What I learned forged a permanent relationship between this landscape and myself, and each time I make use of the skills that materialized there, I am drawn, however slightly, back to the Danville Little League Field.

Reflecting upon N. Scott Momaday's idea that every man must remember a landscape personally related to oneself, I am forced to think of the Danville Little League field. Be it for its distinct, transforming landscape, or for my values, which were formed there, my landscape shall always be connected with me.




09/23/2010
Siobhan Bross
Danville, PA

As Scott Momaday said, "it's important for a person to feel connected with a landscape. Whether it be the rain forest, the beach, or even some place covered in snow. There's got to be some landscape or piece of soothing land out there that a person feels very attached to. A place where you can know the creatures, know the smells, a place that makes you feel as though it's your own. For me, this place is my beach house on the bay in a small North Carolina town, Corolla.

In the bay, there are all sorts of animals and plants. Eels, otters, crabs, turtles, or even garr's, one of the biggest fish in the bay, are all common there. There's a lot of plants sprouting out of the ground creating a calming and appealing atmosphere, coming up out of the water. One time, while visiting North Carolina, we went crabbing in the bay. I felt something yanking on my string, I slowly and carefully pulled the string inward, curious as to see what it might be, I knew this was not a crab. My brother knelt closely next to me, net at the ready. As the string came inkling out of the muskiness of the bay and in to eyes view, he scooped and to our amazement, we had caught a turtle! You never know what you may find in the bay.

I was first introduced to this landscape 5 years ago. The second I stepped foot on the land around the bay and embraced the smell, the sounds, and the visuals, I knew it was some place special. My family never wanted to leave. This holds true to this day, every year when we go to Corolla, we are sure to rent the same house by the bay in Corolla, North Carolina. There is never a time when the bay is a gruesome or an unpleasing sight. Even when it rains, when the bay gets angry, it starts to crash and swirl with waves crashing down, but still it is so soothing to watch. The feeling I get when I'm sitting in a chair looking through the clear glass of the big bay side window, is so calm and collected, it makes me never want to leave.

The bay has become a part of me over the past 5 years. There's no place Ilove more, it's so easy to embrace your surroundings, and to start feeling like you belong. The ripple of the small waves tossing and turning and shouting in the bay have a way of making you forget everything else, and focus solely on the bay itself, and the surrounding perpetuating it. "Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth, I believe. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it." For me, this place is the bay, and the bay front house in Corolla North Carolina, or a place i like to call, my second home.




09/23/2010

A landscape that I feel connected to is the hidden lakes in the Rocky Mountains. When I was younger my parents took me out to Montana to see my Grandfather. He took us on a camping trip into the mountains where we saw these beautiful lakes. The lake was hidden between two mountains. My Grandpa said they were formed in the mountains where the water sat in the valley that the mountain naturally made. It is usually very cold in this area because of the snow-capped mountains. These lakes are very high up in the mountains. The water is never very warm. I love to go there because of the fresh air and how beautiful it is. The landscape holds a lot of mountainous animals. Some animals that live there would be a mountain goat, which I saw trying to scale the mountain. Also there are mountain lions. I once saw one of them bathing themselves in the lake that we were at. On your trip to the hidden lakes through the mountains the only thing you see is rock. When you get to the lakes there is plush green grass, a crystal blue lake, and many plants all around.




09/23/2010
Daniel Komar
Danville, PA

Of all the acres, miles, and kilometers of land on our planet, I feel most connected, not to those lands, but to the oceans which surround them. A sense of mystery and foreboding surround the ocean. To me, it seams, to be in the midst of a never ending chasm of blue and black. We are so absolutely minuscule in comparison to these massive bodies of water that some find it disturbing, but I instead find it to be beyond comprehension, so vast that it is impossible to sum up to a mere thought, and this intrigues me to no end. Below its surface, the ocean is teaming with life. A whole ecosystem of organisms unfolding beneath the blue waves that seam to be utterly lifeless. Oceans, in many stories of old, have been described as having minds of their own. From smashing ships and swallowing them into the deep, never to be seen again; to carrying a worthy crewman to shore on a piece of drift would, unharmed. If you have ever spent time by the ocean as I have, you too must have understood how formidable it seams, daring you to venture its surface. To be at the mercy of whatever wanders beneath it. Then you, too, must be connected with the ocean.




09/23/2010
Kylie
Danville, PA

Scott Momadays connection to this landscape is similar to mine of a little island of the gulf coast of Florida called Sanible Island. My Mom and I took a trip there this summer because her parents took her there when she was a teenager..she said it was one of the most amazing places she's ever been too. When we got off the plane and drove to the island the fact that there was not one chain restaurant, not one CVS, and no towering built up hotels just blew me away. The island is known for its shells. There is barely any sand. The shells are big and little all over the place in huge piles where you can just dig and dig and there will still be more, they covered the ground and what little sand there was, was sugar white. The vegetation was amazing unlike the shores of Ocean City, and Atlantic city the island is very residential and is not built up at all keeping all natural vegetation.The wildlife was also very plentiful everywhere you were there were dolphins, or manatees even so far in shore that one brushed up against my leg. The last reason i feel the connection between me and Sanible Island like Scott Momaday feels with the plains is because it was a vacation with just my Mom and I and that was special to me.




09/23/2010

Every summer that my family and I have gone down to Melbourne beach, Florida we seem to catch a glimpse of the wildlife this place is known for. Sea turtles are one aspect of that wildlife that my family and I always found fun to see. We would go down onto the beach late at night to try and see the turtles coming up from the ocean, and make their nests in the sand dunes.Being careful not to disturb them we sometimes were lucky enough to see them or their tracks in the sand. The beach house that we stay at has it's own private beach available to us. The water here is so calm and the sand is so white, the peacefulness has always spoken to us in a way that no other landscape has. Standing in that clear blue water, I could sometimes see the fish swimming around me. All of the wildlife and calm landscape allows memories in this place to be made. Scott Momaday felt connected to the landscape in Oklahoma because of what he had heard about it from his grandmother. My connection to this beach in Florida is even more real being that I have been there so many times. My connection to this landscape is similar to the way he felt about his peoples homeland. The features as well as the wildlife on the beach really stand out to me, and hold memories that Momaday may not have been able to relate to. I will always feel connected to Melbourne, Florida.




09/23/2010

Early morning, I wake up and go outside and read. As I look out across the water I feel a sense of peace. Sometimes there will be deer crossing the river while other times all that's moving is a bird singing on our deck. All you see are tress swaying, water flowing, and an assortment of animals moving. As the day goes by, I go down to the water and lay down to feel the sun blaze upon me and feel the splashing of waves against the dock hit me. As i jump into the waves of water I see fish scatter all around me and feel seaweed tickle my toes. In the fall, I see the leaves turn beautiful colors surrounding me and in the winter the river freezes over looking like a glass sheet laying on top of the water. The earth is covered in snow and the world looks so serene from my view. At night in the summer, I look from my deck and see the bridge to get into Canada glowing with lights hanging from it. Sometimes if I'm lucky I see the fireworks shooting high in the sky fall and seeing the water soaking up the sparks. Whether I"m inside playing cards or outside at night by a campfire looking out over the water with the moon protecting me I feel as Scott Momaday does in the plains of Oklahoma. No matter the weather, the season, the time of day I can always feel right at home in the little cove on the St. Lawrence River.




07/02/2008
kathlen towell
san antonio, tx

In 1977 my husband and I were on a road trip to New York state and on our return to Texas we passed by the Appommatox battle ground - only marked at the time by a white picket fence and a small sign. I remember experiencing the strangest feeling that I had been there before, in another life, not as a soldier but more as a scout of some sort. This feeling has never happened since that time, and for a long time I did not share this event with anyone else.




06/19/2008
S.C. Rodriguez
San Antonio, Texas

The Small Hidden Insect

Many years ago there was a small insect that was hidden from plan view. This insect longed for attention. It wanted to be more like the butterfly. It longed for beauty so, it tried different things: it attached flowers to itself, rubbed itself onto berry to stain it wings, but the only attention it seemed to get was shortly before being eaten by a bird or lizard. So the small insect thought and it thought, "what can I do to grab attention without being eaten." Then it heard a whisper, the rattlesnake said, "attention that one attracts can only be bad." The insect took this to heart. The rattlesnake is very wise. How can I be more like the rattlesnake? I am already camouflaged, but how do I instill horror yet convey beauty. What does the rattlesnake do? A large rattling sound. So the small hidden insect tried everything and could not accomplish this task. The insect bellowed in dismay, in doing so he produces a large clacking sound that surpassed that of the rattlesnake. The Chicarra / Cicada was now complete mind, body and soul.



10/24/07
D Scribner

I remember the air being crisp and biting on some days. Those were my favorite days. The field at the top of the hill seemed out of place. Or rather, the field at the top of the hill was the only natural thing and our small town crowding it was out of place. I recall those many trips walking up alleyways and thinking just how symbolic even the alleys were. They progressively receded to nature. My ally was paved, the next gravel, another was gravel that was crowded with grass, and finally just grass until the roads stopped all together. And at that moment I felt that much freer and the air felt that much clearer. The horses would come up and vie for attention until I would give them the pieces of apples I had brought along. I would sit there for oodles of time until the sun started to creep behind that old barn that was so close to falling apart. The world felt better at the top of the hill. It felt pure and clean and the very wind itself felt like it had a personality and a life. I‚ve moved from that small town that invaded that immense field but I remember it fondly.



7/31/07
Blue Wolf
Springdale, Arkansas

In June, me and my mother returned to our native lands. The land of the Cherokee. It was a moment that I had been longing for. My ancestor, James Smith, he was from the Chattanooga, TN area and migrated down into Northern Alabama. Thus, he escaped the plight of many who suffered on the Trail of Tears. When I arrived in Cullman, Alabama, I felt a very strong connection with Mother Earth and new immediately that I had to go to our tribal property. Me and my mother did just this and it was good.



7/31/07
Jenny Burrow
Fresno, CA

There is a small portion of my blood (1/16) Chocktaw from OK. My great grandmother was full and participated in the great walk. I have always felt a reverence, connection to the Native American people, not just because I have a small portion of this culture in my blood, but because they are and always have been proud, and honorable people. I am a school teacher preparing for a year long unit on Native Americans for gifted students. Thank you for making such a wonderful website available to add to my curriculum. The material is authentic and sensitive, and will certainly add to the beauty and understanding of the culture for my students.



10/19/06
Nick Smith
Shiprock, NM

I once heard the thunder in my sleep
I could not wake to see the lighting
but felt its presence getting closer . . .

Dreaming of desert lands and mysterious
crafts hovering above . . .
This land is sick and tired of the
poisons and pollution . . .

Take me away . . .

No! You must fight another day!



10/02/06

My name is Broken Wing. I am the last of my people. They are no more. I follow the 3 White Feathers. I am led into the wilderness. To follow the promise of my people. I have seen the Savior in a vision. He calls the lost tribes of Israel. The tribe of Joseph is the American Indian people. He soon returns to give them back their land.



8/14/06
Berta Levy Strain
San Francisco, CA

In the Makua cave in Makaha lives many spirits. Spirits of the aumakuas and kapunas who have gone before us. Recently, I took my mo'opuna (grand daugther) to this sacred place of my childhood. At first she was afraid due to the vast darkness of the cave. I held her hand and ventured inside. I told her, "do not be afraid, you are safer here then outside". As we held hands I said to her, "close your eyes and listen, tell me what you hear". I watched her sweet little face and as I knew she would, she smiled very big. She said, "Tutu, I hear voices laughing and talking". "Yes, I said, those are the voices of the ancestors, they are on the other side". We stood for a bit while she continued to hear the great spirits of those gone before us. Just as it changed my life forever, so did it change hers. She will never forget and will return to this place at different times in her life as I do, we will return together and someday she will bring her own there.

Wahine Na Koa



3/29/06
Lawna
Bitter Root Mountains

Rest Once Again

the healing road i am on is a dangerous one.
there are step clifts, bolders and shell rock all around.
this is my adventure that i must over come.

i have rolling hills and valley within my rocky
mountains to climb.
the trails are hidden and hard to find.

i find my way as i watch and i listen for
i am the guide.
the forest is thick with much growth and
old trees that have fallen over time.

i cut my way through with the emotional axe
i carry on my shoulder. with each step i take
i cut away the dead things in my path.

i find all i need in my survivor pack. some of
the things i carry i find i no longer need.
i toss them a side and look for the largest tree.

i sit up there to rest and to give myself peace
of mind. i look around the world to see the next
mountain to climb. in the morning i will decide.

the sun is bright and the bird are singing.
i find my self enjoying the view.
mountain after mountain as far as the eye can see.
for a time i am free.

i hear water runn ing and i find my self thristy.
as i search for the creek, i find a meadow with
lovely wild flower to remind me. to look for the
beauty of things.

i feel dirty and i so need a bath. i wash my
face and hand. i feel a little refreshed.

my body is stiff from the night in the tree.
my heart is heavy from the view that i seen.
i know my path is long and a treacherous one. i
don't give up. there is more that needs to be done.

on ward i step with causion at my side. the ground
is covered in mud and slime.
this the the booggy land where i refuse to die.

no time to stop. i don't dare to give in now.
this is not where i want to be.
i have pulled myself out of here many times.
i must survive.

i dig and pull my way out. a root near by saved me.
once again i am greatful for a free.

as i stand i feel releif come over me.
i lift my eyes only to see another hill
for me to climb. once again i sigh.

the grade is steep as i put one foot in front of the other. i just need to get
to the top of that ridge. then i will rest once again.



2/16/06
Savannah Warlick
Great Falls MT

We are all people alike. Our skin may be a different color. We may even look alike. But we are all different. There is one thing we all have in commen though. We all have feelings. Some peoples feelings are hurt more than others. I am tired of all the racism in the world. It is so hard living were I do. Everywere you go, you here little hurtful smerks. As a chiled of a mixed race. White and black it is very hard. I wish that it would just stop. I know that there is nothing I can do.



2/16/06
Hope
great falls montana

i think these stories arew spiratual in every way



2/15/06
John Bostwick
great falls Montana

One time I was chased by a pussy cat. Then I SANG HIM to sleep.



1/23/06
Wanda Taylor
Corsicana,TX

Standing in the wind, it seems as if my troubles can be washed away and blessings are forthcoming. When it's soft, it's a small jet that sends a kiss from far away from someone that I love. Carrying scents and seeds from far away. When it's stronger it provides a warm hug, a soft caress. It whistles a sweet song in my ear, messages from afar. As it grows in strength it provides a challenge, making me stronger. An invitation to work, an invitation to grow. Along with challenge it can give a push like a mama bird pushes it's hatchling from the nest. When it swirls, it's angry, and must cleanse the earth with it's fury. Reminding me of who is in charge and exactly how small I am in it's wake. Leaving behind a chance for me to start all over again. With just a small puff of wind...



11/10/05
Barb Blackdeer-Mackenzie
Black River Falls, WI

In a special forest clearing, there was a circle of crude structures that people would inhabit for a long weekend; making lots of food, selling wares, and visiting friends and relations.

My dad would go up early on the Memorial Day weekend to help cut pine boughs to place on lean-to poles for shaded awnings for the logs that shaped the seating for a dance arena, where the people would sit and watch the doings. The rich and heady smell of pine from the boughs was only occasionally interrupted by the smell of delicious food being made at the food stands.

Traditional songs that had passed along from generation to generation were performed. There were grass dancers, animal dancers, swan dancers and lots of women in white doe-skin dresses doing a graceful, modest dance in concert that had been done for hundreds of years.

I got my feather from a wounded war veteran in this arena. In front of everybody, he told his story to me there. In exchange, I hold the memory of his brave deed. He is long gone, but his actions are known throughout time.

Year after year, it is like that. Some of the powwows are more spectacular than others, but everybody knows that no matter whatÖpowwow always goes on there.



10/24/05
Jensen Caleja
Doha, Qatar

The grass dances gracefully with the soft wind,
The cool and soft touch of air stream,
The shade I receive from the pine treeís shadow
And the views of wide green meadow,
Refresh the eyes from the hot summer day

Sweet and endearing sound of the sparrow,
The creepy sound of insects- I heard and saw.
The noisy laughter of folks and children everywhere,
Opposites the silence of a dropped coin down the wishing well
A place where I feel connected, Mines View Park.

Here I can relate of myself,
For it reminds me of something Iíve seen and felt.
A place where I can throw away
A burden inside me, feelings I canít say.
How wonderful it is, indescribable happiness.

The tall trees that reminds me to be strong,
Whenever challenges comes along.
A shoulder to render for a friend in need.
Silent wishes, goals hope to be fulfilled.
A hidden inspiration from the peaceful park.

The park had changed through peoplesí work
Is it for good or for worse?
But to keep the beauty
of this place,
Nurture it with respect, love and care.
Though many changes, thereís always a lesson within.



10/19/05
Hugo Hedin
Doha, Qatar

Far north on the most western tip of Norway lies a very special place. There the land meets the ocean I a very dramatic way. The region is called Vestlandet. It mostly consists of very high mountains called ìfjellî and deep fjords often several hundred meters in depth.

The fjells start far inland on ìHardangerviddaî Europe's only high altitude mountain plato and one of the few places on earth that has not been effected by humans. Here thousands upon thousands of reindeer stride freely along with several other creatures such as the Fox, Field-Mouse, Stream Trout and the elusive Snow Owl. Up here the snow never really melts, but the snow and ice that do melt in the summer form streams that zigzag through the landscape and which later on will connect to each other before they leap over the final edge of the mountain and fall hundreds of meters into the clear blue-green fjord.

Down in the valleys, between the mountains and the fjord, farmers grow cherries, plums, apples and pears in small fields. Usually that kind of fruit does not grow this far north but it's possible because of the heat that the Gulf Current generates all year round.

In the fall the leaves of the trees' foilage creates a golden brown, red and yellow glow in the sunlight. In the winter the area receives a lot of snow. Several meters sometimes, and it can get a little frosty. It looks like everything is swept in a big white blanket. Spring is the most beautiful of all seasons. In May the fruit farm's flowers bloom and the hillsides are coverd in an intense green brilliance. This combined with the snow that is left on the mountaintops and the emerald blue fjord is an incredibly beautiful scenery. In the summer the sea is warm enough for swimming and many of the fruits are ripe, but you can still go skiing or snowboarding on one of the glaciers nearby.

One of the most special things about this place is that it is so quiet, you don't hear anything but yourself. The air there is very crisp, clear and in the winter very cold. When y

You're breathing it sometimes feels like you've just swallowed an entire pack of Tick-Tack mints. I feel connected to this place because it feels like home, since I lived there for a long time. It never stops to astonish me with its beauty, and everytime I visit it's just as breathtaking as the last.



10/18/05
wern jieh
doha, qatar

Imagine a place bathed by little warm rays of sunlight, peeking through gaps between uniquely shaped leaves, with friendly monkeys greeting visitors. Imagine swallows, pigeons, squirrels and other fellow creatures accompanying you in the relatively quiet and serene, sometimes eerie surroundings. Sounds like a foreign place hidden in another planet far away?

Not really. A camping ground unknown to the outside world, Station 5 is situated 800 feet above sea level in the heart of Penang, a northern Malaysian state. It is tucked in the middle of a permanent forest reserve, only accessible by a hiking trail as special as the camping ground itself. This trail, explored during the British colonial era, is a stranger to development, but not to the locals. Peaceful and tranquil, this 'station' is and has always been the heart and soul of many people including myself.

However, I never knew why I this way towards this place. Perhaps, it was because of the calmness this place gives. Or probably the sight and landscape this place has to offer. Maybe it is the overall package or perhaps itís because itís just part of nature. One thing for sure though, this was where I found refuge during hard stressful times. This was my escape from the city below.

The distinctiveness of Station 5 starts from the very beginning of the trail where one is greeted by excited monkeys, screeching at the top of their lungs; something common in the tropics. As one progress further along the trail, one is followed by those curious creatures, hopping from tree to tree, sometimes giving one a creepy stare with their big round shiny eyes. Once a while, a squirrel pops its head out of thick bushes, entertaining one with its quirky behavior. Birds can be seen soaring freely above one, savoring their every moment of freedom.

Look up and one would be empowered by the sheer beauty of sky-scrapping tropical trees, racing into the sky. Their trunks are ruler straight with leaves at the top shaped like umbrellas, shielding the area from the blazing heat. The sides of this trail are decorated by exotic plants including orchids, tropical fern, wild ginger among others. Granite rocks, not wanting to be left out from the picture proudly stand out from the rest with its gigantic body, adding to the diversity of the scenery.

Progressing upward, one notices the gradual fall in temperature due to the rising altitude and lush greenery. This makes it an ideal place to escape from the scorching tropical heat below.

The singing of the crickets is audible throughout the trail. Insignificant as the singing can be, it definitely brings one closer to nature. Besides that, the trickling sound of an unseen stream adds towards the ambience of this place. Unfortunately, until today, I have never been able to locate to exact position of that stream. I can only imagine how nice it would be to dip my hands into the cold refreshing water, with little fishes nipping my fingers.

Reaching Station 5 itself is a feat on its own, giving one a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Greeting one at Station 5 is a small brick hut with a zinc roof, equipped with a running water supply. This hut was actually built with the pain and sweat of many volunteers. Bricks were laid at the beginning of the trail and were brought up by one by any willing visitors. Once at the top, one is overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of mother nature. In the distance are hills dressed in trees of multiple shades of yellowish green, bluish green, or brownish green. Look closer and one would be able to catch a glimpse of the city and the Straits of Malacca below.

The feeling of being up here is unbelievable. Station 5 gives its visitors a peek of how it feels like to be at the top of the world. One feels the constant cool breeze brushing against oneself, sending one into another world.

Sadly, this natural treasure is constantly being threatened by deforestation as land becomes scare. Hopefully, as time progresses, this unique place would be preserved through generations.



10/17/05
saad hasan
doha, qatar

The Salmon with Log Noses

Many thousands of years ago when the Spirits of the Earth were still helping men learn the ways of the land, the salmon swam lazily and were not red in hunting season but silver like the suns glow on the streams of Mother Earth. The Creator appointed the Great Bear Spirit and the Great Eagle Spirit to teach man how to hunt. These Spirits were grand hunters and because man was not very fast, they chose salmon, which swam very lazily and close to the surface of the streams they inhabited. The salmon swam unhurriedly because their noses were flat like a log.

Bear told the men to wait by the riverbank and said to watch eagle. Eagle flew up into the air and gazed down at the salmon swimming lazily in the water, then eagle pierced through the air and clutched the unsuspecting salmon with his mighty talons, making the stream pink with the salmon's blood, which started to dye the other salmon's silver into pink.

Upon seeing their comrades fate the other salmon swam frantically but the stream ended at a waterfall and the salmon's home was a pool at the end of the stream. They tried leaping over the waterfall but it was impossible for the sluggish salmon. Instead they became jammed in the rock crevices nose first. The salmon were filled with immense fear and with their hunger for survival they kept on thrusting into the dark crevices. Mother Earth saw the salmon's grief and with her divine power she gave the salmon the gift of speed. The salmons fear eluded their pain but their log noses were being hammered and straitened into the shape of an arrow. When the salmon's once log shaped noses completed their metamorphosis into the arrowhead like noses they have now but the salmon did not know that they could fly through the water like an arrow cast from a bow.

Meanwhile while the salmon were swimming for the precious gift of life, Eagle elegantly swept down with the salmon clutched in his talons. The Spirits shared the salmon with the men and they ate happily. Once the feast was over, Eagle gave men a wooden bow and a stone tip arrow, which men were to use as Eagleís swiftness and strength so that man could also hunt like Eagle.

Some men grasped the bow in their hands and as if it were their destiny it shone in their hand like the sun but it did not shine for some. Eagle told all men who were shown their gift of the bow to use the bow and arrow as their talons.

The men in whose hand the bow had not shone went to the Great Bear Spirit to see if he could help them and Bear told the men to follow him. He then approached the stream and then stepped down into the water. He waited for a salmon to come close and with the might of a hundred trees he cut through the water and skewed the salmon to his deadly claws. Then bear climbed out of the water and he and the men devoured the salmon. He then presented the men with a spear with the tip made of the sharpest stone to utilize as his claw. The remaining men whose destiny was to live and hunt by the spear grasped the spear in their hand and it glowed like the bow had glowed.

When the Great spirits and the men were departing one of the men noticed that the stream was blood red and the salmon were also blood red. Their nose had turned into an arrow like eagle had given and they were gliding in the water like eagle had glided in the air. With man learning how to hunt the salmon of ages past changed into the salmon we know today but todayís salmon only turn red when it is hunting season so they may mourn the first salmon killed by another creature.

A story I wrote once i was inspired by the circle of stories.



3/18/05
Sheri Peterson-Hale
Shelton, WA
I am Sheri Peterson,(Sheri Bug), born the youngest of seven to Francis and Hazel Peterson on the Skokomish Reservation, September of 1957. I have a brother and sister, who have a different mother. It was my brother, Booby, who called me Sheri Bug when I was born. Everything that is good about me I learned from my family. I was born in the most comfortable house in the world, in the middle of a beautiful forest. My house had rough electricity, but no running water. We got our water from "the creek". As a little girl, I was never allowed to go to the creek to get water unless my Dad or brothers went with me. I always begged to go,but they usually didn't want to bother with me. My oldest brother, Ronnie, would tell me "You can't go there, Sheri Bug, there are alligators there. I have to wrestle the alligators to get the water, and they would eat you up!" Ronnie was a storyteller, and I never knew when to believe him, I WAS kind of afraid of those alligators. But, still I begged to go. There was a trail to the creek, and on it's sides were hazelnut trees and thimble berries in the summer. Further down the trail, the ground got moist and muddy. In the springtime you could smell the freshness of the water and the skunk cabbage. There, along that trail, grew salmonberries the size of golf balls, and that's not an alligator story! Sometimes, I would sneak down that trail as far as I could without feeling too guilty. It was more that the trail to the creek...our woods was alive with Easter Lilies, Johnny Jump Ups, Violets, rotting stumps and lush growth of trees that provided forts and hiding places for all of us kids. My older brother, Curt, would climb the big Maple tree that I couldn't climb, and stand above me on it's immense trunklike branches and taunt me until I went crying into the house to tell on him. This is the life I hold closest in my heart. This little one bedroom house was home to all of us kids, and whatever cousin or friend that happened to stay awhile, it never got too crowded!

It all came to an end one night when my Uncle came to drive my Mom to the hospital. I was too young to know, and in those days, they didn't even tell the patient about terminal cancer. My Dad took us to a house in Hoodsport that had painted walls and a big clawfoot bathtub with no more creek to get our water. In the years to follow, my life took many turns. One day, my daughter and I walked a creek in the mountains of Lake Cushman on a little day hike, and I heard the spirit calling to my heart. My heart and spirit lies within the forest, where the water rushes clean and fragrant and the wind whispers through the trees. I consider myself lucky to be born into the most beautiful place in the world, and I could never leave. My spirit will live forever in that little place by the creek where the alligators are gone.





1/27/05
carolyn hines
kamloops bc canada
Hello my name is Carolyn Hines. I am the adopted granddaughter of Tommy Nez, who is a Navajo elder, from Chambers Arizona. Four years ago i layed prayers down to The Creator to bring teachers into my life, to help me use my gifts talents and abilities, to help others. That following summer, I met my grandfather and was invited to my first sweatlodge.The journey began that day. I had asked and my prayers were answered. The first year, my two good friends, who are like brothers, were part of a very disciplined teaching of my grandfather. Within a moments notice, Grandpa would call and say Yate , the rocks are going to be ready in ten minutes, granddaughter, have a good day. You knew that this was time to show up, to follow through with that prayer. So the first year was this way. We began going to native american church ceremony, and learning to help oursleves and others through the faith, hope, love & charity which Masjkeegee, Grandfather Peyote offered, a new way of life, like being reborn. Along this journey i had wondered how it was, that i felt drawn to this way of life, all along, even since i was a child. So I shared a story with my friend Gerald Jules, of the Chu Chua band, about how my mother & fahter first met the chief George Leonard and his wife, and became friends when they first came to Kamloops. One time Mrs.Leonard needed a dress for a gathering and my mother gifted her with a beautiful red dress. My friend Gerald said this to me......"Maybe Mrs.Leonard was so grateful that your mother helped her out, that she layed prayers down, for her unborn children, that one of them would follow this good red road, and maybe that one is you." At that moment it all came together.It all made sense for me. Two weeks ago, i had been reunited with a friend, whom i met, two years ago, while i was working with The Nanaimo Youth Suicide Prevention walk across Canada. His name is Don.He told me he & his friend had built a lodge and that i was invited to it. He said it was on Neil Leonards property, nephew of Chief George Leonard.I knew that soemhow this was about going back to the beginning, completing the sacred hoop, the circle, and where it all began before my birth, so i may share the story.For all of this, for all the medicines, instruments, family and prayers which i have been part of, I thank The Creator for them, and everyday for my life.For this I have begun a discussion group called Goodredroad, on www.care2.com site.It is open to All My Relations.

8/25/04
Buffee Alvidrez
On the other side of the waiting room in the Buttonwillow clinic a very curious four year old boy is swithcing the channel on the T.V. that I happened to be watching. I was not in very good spirits as I waited for Dr. Comelli to confirm what I just knew was the flu. Aching muscles and bones, fatigue, nausea and vomiting. What else could it be? Finally, I am invited into the exam room where the good doc carefully listens to all of my symtoms and then asks me for a urine sample. I do so willingly. Thirteen years and ten months later my little flu bug enters Junior High. Gabrielle Lynn, what a gem. Her existance alone is worth all of the time I spent worshiping the porcoline God. Three years and two months later came what Gabbie refers to now as an existing bubble of drama. Aryssa Maggie, my free spirit,so precious. They are a massive,intracate part of my life. There existance has redefined who I am as a person. Life has really taken on a whole new meaning and sometimes I am not completely thrilled with that awesome responsibility. However, I do welcome it. A portion of there genetic makeup is an extention of me. There spirit is a reflection of my work. I try to embrace that concept. If I do not, then I reject myself.

11/21/03
Schwab
Milwaukee
Brother Woodchuck was out and about looking for food on a great summer day. He approached the train track very carefully. At the intersection of the railroad track and road a biker was taking a break from his long ride and was just watching the Woodchuck near the track. The sky was clear and blue that made a joy to be out and about for both animal and man. As the Woodchuck attempted to cross the track he became stuck between the steel rails. As fate would have it the train was coming down the line and unaware that half a mile ahead the Woodchuck was caught. The man realizing the Woodchuck was in grave danger went into action. It seemed to the man that fate was going to take the Woodchuck on this summer day but the man had other plans. His action was not noted by any human that day but Woodchuck was saved and the train and fate were not allowed to take the life of Woodchuck. It may seem insignificant but maybe the saving of life however small is a worthy event.....

9/5/03
Paul Goodiron
Mandaree, ND
When coyote prices were high, I hunted them and was very proficient at it. Camouflaged in white including rifle and braids plus tracking skills; could bring me up very close to kill range. It was very cold (-20 F) as I tracked one coyote. The coyote would look back from time to time and slowly walked into a thick, thorned patch of brush that was in a open circle. The long open area around the brush was a easy wait. Laying there the cold wind seeped into me and I could see nothing came out. The coyote would have been easily seen from the short distance if it came out. Nothing. I decided to slowly walk towards the brush. Rushing backwards I waited as maybe the coyote would run out. Nothing. I circled the brush always waiting for the open shot anticipating the coyote to try and escape in the deep snow. Nothing. I made a complete circle but could not see the coyote inside because of the thickness of the brush. I circle back to where the coyote went in and followed the tracks as I got further inside. Suddenly a noise like fluttering wings happened and I raced back outside the brush. Looking up I could see a Prairie Chicken flying away. Looking at the snow around the brush showed only my tracks. Nothing else. Going back in the brush I followed the tracks as they neared the center of the brush and the coyote tracks turned into Prairie chicken tracks. Three forward and one back. You could see the rounded circle in the snow as it must have leaped into the air flying away. These were the only tracks visible in the snow. Very puzzled I later asked an older woman who possessed spiritual knowledge why this happened. After a short moment she told me she was told that I was killing too many coyotes. And they, the coyotes, wanted me to stop for a while. This is why what happened, happened in a gentle manner. I was to make an offering to them and tell them I would stop for awhile. The following weekend I made the offering and stop coyote hunting for the season even though much of the season remained in effect. For me, in the latter 1970's, a different era emerged in respecting what we take for granted. We, have never been alone regardless of our situation. It is only us, us as in human beings, that make ourselves alone.

9/2/03
Pegg Ainslie
Lansing, MI
Red Feather was riding Warrior in the Meadow. "Mama," cried Baby Chipmunk, "a terrible storm is coming, Mother Earth is trembling." Mama Chipmunk held her baby and said, "Everything is fine, that is not a terrible storm, what you hear and feel is a pony running in the Meadow." "Mama, when will I be as wise as you?" asked Baby Chipmunk. "You will be as wise as me," replied Mama Chipmunk, "when you have asked as many questions as I have."

8/18/03
Pegg Ainslie
Lansing, MI
It was early morning. The Sun's light had not yet touched the spring dew that covered the meadow. Yellow Flower was sitting at her table busy sorting her sewing material. She found a large piece of green flannel. All she had to do was cut the flannel into strips, one inch wide and four or five inches long. She did not have much time remaining, so she had to work quickly. Just as the dew was beginning to disappear from the meadow, Yellow Flower had completed cutting the strips of green flannel. She laid the strips of green flannel over the railing on the back porch. It was not until late afternoon that Yellow Flower returned to her back porch to find the strips of green flannel gone. Yellow Flower was thrilled that her gift of love was received. In her minds eye, she could see the material being used to keep a new born bird warm and protected. Her heart was filled with the joy that comes from knowing one is a part of another's journey. And who knows, she thought to herself, maybe one of theses days, I will see a nest that has green flannel woven among its twigs. The next afternoon, Yellow Flower found a Cardinal's feather on her back porch. In the evening Cardinal returned to find his feather gone. He was thrilled that his gift of love was received. In his mind's eye, he could see the feather being used to decorate a hat. His heart was filled with the joy that comes from knowing one is a part of another's journey. And who knows, he thought to himself, maybe one of these days, I will see a two-legged wearing a hat with a red feather walking in the forest.

5/20/03
The Blackfeet Reservation was known to me all my childhood life, as the largest rez in Montana, til the white man as we know them as, bought the land while the indians were drunk, the Blackfeet people sold them the land for food, and more alcohol. Back then we didn't know what we were doing til the years went on then we relized what our people were convinced in doing. The white man gave the Indians alcohol so that they would get drunk and wouldn't know what they are doing to their land or to themselfs. Til this day our peopel still drink the alcohol, not all but most and not just on the Blackfeet rez but on other reservations also. A and also we were forced to go to their schools and learn their way. I think if the white man didn't give the indians the alcohol we still would have our large reservation. And also if they didn't find indians we still would be living in tepee's and living our old way.

5/20/03
sonya
Heart Butte Montana
This one time long time ago, there was a old man named napi. He loved berries so much.One day he wanted berrie so much.He went for a walk along a river. Then he happened to look in the river a he saw there were berries in there. So he took a great big belly flot in the water and found no barries. But as he was getting out he looked up a nd seen this great big berrie tree.Then jumped out of water as fast as he could then riped apart the tree till nothing was left. But as he was resting from all the eating he had done, he happened to look over and a grizley bear was charging after him. He jumped up as fast as he could, ran as fast as he could.Put up his and said stop im your friend,the bear stoped and walked away.After that a bear never atacked a indian.

5/20/03
Ellery Williamson
Heart Butte Montana
A long time age there was a man his wife and two children that lived away from the tribe. The husband always went out hunting and one day he caught his wife cheating on him with a mih'. He attacked the mih' until it went back into the water, after he got out he went to where his wife was standing and cut her head off. Afterwards he went and butchered the body and feed it to his two children a girl and small boy, and left without telling the children where he was going. after the children were done eating the meat they heard something rolling around the tipi. The head of their mother had came through the door and was chasing them around the fire until they both got out. The girl put up a stick by the door so the head could not get out, and told her brother to run to the nearest camp which was a copuple of days away. After a while of running,the head was coming after them. The little boy was getting tired so the girl said "when i was little i to pretend that there was a great crevice in the earth" and next thing there was a crack in the earth. The children them came upon acamp in which their father was and after seeing them come he told the people that" these are the children that ate their mother" and the camp was going to move so they left the children tired to a pole. But one dog felt sorry for then and took a buring log into the hill and when the camp left he brought it down and untied the rope and the girl made a big fire. After a while the camp which left came back and the girl and boy feed all the straving families and when her dad came through the line the girl told her friends the lion an the bear to eat her father they took him away and cleaned his bones. That is the end of the story

5/20/03
Long time ago, there was a man named Napi. One morning the Blackfeet Tribe, was holding a ceramony where the young daughter of the chief was to pick a husband. So the chief decided to have every young warrior in the tribe to be at this ceramony. So as all the young warriors lined up to be chosen, the chief released his beautiful daughters. The first few grabbed there husbands right away. When the youngest and the most beautiful came out.. there was only two men left. Napi, and the scabby warrior. She had been warned about Napi the joker. He had always been mean to her and played mean jokes on her. But she was afraid to have the scabby warrior as a husband. But she was told and she obeyed, she had picked the scabby warrior. The warrior thanked her and asked her to kiss him. She did, and when she did, he turned into a handsome warrior. So Napi became known as the loner. He can be seen when a lone tree stands by itself, secluded from all beautiful.

5/20/03
andrew running crane
heart butte Mt
one day napi was taking a walk through the forest and he ran into a bird the bird toll him can u create me a wife and napi said what kind of a wife and the bird said an robin like me a beatiful red brownish like creature so we could have kids and napi said ok but u have to do something for me and the robin said ok and he said what do u want and napi said i want u for dinner and the robin said why and napi said u got me hungry for talking about the robin and your self and the robin said no and napi got mad at him and said u better let me eat u or i ain't going to make your wife. the next day the robin and napi was still aruging about making his wife and then the robin said ok eat me i will fly down and he did napi ate him and got full of one bird and napi forgot about making his wife because he was full

5/20/03
Sherrell Cook
Heart Butte
The story that I would like to share with everyone is the Napi story of the baby boys. One day Napi was walking down this long dirt road. He over heard these babies crying,and since Napi was a curious old guy he walked over to the crying noises. When Napi arrived at the door where he heard the infants crying he knocked. Not knowing what was going to happen, a young woman answered the door. She was in a panic cause she could not make the twin babies hush(be quite). Napi asked he if she needed any help cause if she did he would, but only if she would pay him. Everybody knows that Napi is always hungry but never has any money. The young woman agreed to giving him some food but she had to run a few errands. Napi being so hungry agreed. The woman had only been gone for a couple of hours and the babies had been crying for a long time, and Napi's hungey pains were getting worse. He tried everything to try and get the babies calmed down. He played with them, gave them a rattle. Napi c ould not stand it any more his hunger pains were increasing and the babies were getting on his last nerve so he chopped to twin baby boys into small pieces and ate them. When the woman returned she thought that Napi was the best babysitter cause she no longer heard her babies crying. After Napi left she had found out what he had done, cause she had found the babies heads.

5/2/03
The great spirit, Napi, looked down upon his world. It was covered with water and Napi wanted to walk upon land. so he dove down to the sea's bottom to scoop up a handful of mud. As the mud dried, he blew it in all directions and land masses formed on the water. The land grew until it stretched over a great distance. Now Napi was able to walk upon land and he was happy.After awhile, Napi decided that he wanted to share his land with others. From the mud, he began to shape a man and a woman. At first the man and woman chose to live apart. Napi was not happy because he wanted the man and woman to live together. He went to talk to the woman about this. When he found her, he was surprised to see that the woman had multiplied and created a whole village of woman.The woman listened to Napi's idea about marrying and living with the men. She asked Napi to bring the men and, if the women liked them, they would marry. this was the beginning of the family arrangement. Napi next created animals an d birds out of the mud. These creatures left to find food and freedom on the new land.



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