Home of the Hawks

Home of the Hawks

There is a gap in the trees at the edge of the road in the middle of the country. Behind the gap lies the place where swollen mushrooms arise, mosses lay and the mountain laurel spirals. I tramped through this trail since the time when I was three. I have memorized every rock, every tree, every blade of grass. I know where to go.

I am looking up at robust branches above me and feeling the thump of my feet under me. The hush of a river echoes around the trees from somewhere and the ground is peppered with dappled light from where sun stays. The conifers point straight to the heavens and I almost forget how I pretended to be the ruler of the world last night, for these have ruled long before me. I smell the sweet sap of the pine trees. I hear the hush of a river. I taste the misty, humid air.

Waking from my daze, I stare around at the strange spiraling, warping, reaching, tangling world of shrub that surrounds me. The hands of the shrub almost seem to grab for the misty glowing light.

When the parents catch up and we lumber on, the trees start thinning and the ground becomes hardened. I see just how far up we are. The river that seemed so wide now has the width of barely an inch. It sparkles with the sun and the mountains and the clouds. The hills disappear in the distance. The hawks roam this height and I feel as if I could soar with them.

Callum Nissen, Age 12, Grade 7, The Anderson School, Gold Key

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