‘The Remaining Tree’ | Identity places

‘The Remaining Tree’ | Identity places

Personal essay written by Enumclaw Middle School student Sawyer Kleinberg

Editor’s Note: Enumclaw Middle School students wrote essays about how the places around the plateau shaped their identity. Five articles were selected for publication in the Courier-Herald in Week 5 issues; It has been edited minimally to retain the author’s voice. The previous two articles were published on November 30, 2022 and March 29, 2023. The next two articles will be published on August 30 and November 29. This column was originally published in the May 31 edition, but was published online only on September 11. .

The wind sways through the trees as I sit on the solid root of the tree, listening carefully, the leaves rustle, the woodpecker knocks on an old oak, and the rushing stream rushes by.

These are all the things I hear in this place I call the “Remaining Tree.”

My heart rate has finally slowed down from today’s events. I look back and see Mount Rainier sitting in my backyard and looking reverently at this city as if we the people were its students. Standing in my front yard just beyond the pale green fields, Mount Peak stands in a way that seems to be looking at its father. The large, flat maple leaves protect me from the bright sun, and there is a cool breeze washing my body. body. A praying mantis crawls up my feet and tickles me a little as if the grass has just touched my leg, but I don’t do anything. I don’t want to destroy this creature’s family line by simply moving and crushing part of its fragile body. I

I took a deep breath and smelled the fresh pine air, tried to move my fingers and realized there was juice between them. The wall of trees prevents me from seeing further, but I notice several of them with climbing vines and slowly choking the trees.

I think about what happened today and my heartbeat rises with anger, but the look of the open field with yellow dandelions quickly calms me down. Some started turning into white puffballs. A flock of birds flies overhead and disappears into the dense forest, perhaps preparing to head south to their winter homes.

I think about this place a lot, this place in my backyard. When I feel anxious and lonely. Just before I started to feel angry and desperate, this wonderfully beautiful place sent my nerves and anger on a nice quiet ride.

This place makes me feel at home. It allows me to breathe and forget all the worries of the world. Those fears don’t go away, they are still there, but they make me forget them and just think about the wonders of this world. It makes me realize that I have to live in the moment and be grateful for what I have.

This place allows every part of the world to sink into my skin – the bright, clear skies, the tall pines and spruces, and of course the towering rootstock I’m sitting on now.

As I step away and just think about what I accomplished today, not physically but mentally.

Come back to the place later. Not to get rid of anxiety or anger, but just to read a nice book. As I turn its smooth, wrinkled pages, without paying much attention, I think about how different my life could have turned out.

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