Ingrid Peterson

Seventh Grade at the Brooklin School

Brooklin, Maine

Ms. Rebecca Turner and Ms. Halina Nawrot





My backyard is my sanctuary. Two voluminous cedar trees take up the western portion of the yard, providing a shelter for the swing set and slide. I love the place during allseasons. During the winter, my backyard looks like my kitchen after having an unfortunate flour spilling incident, and the snow crunches under my feet. In the spring, the season for fun begins, and my brother and I sword-fight with foam and PVC swords. The backyard transforms into a natural aviary, with chickadees, robins, and the like; the world has awoken. It wakes me from the sensory slumber of winter:

the blossoms, the earthy smell of the damp lawn, the choir of peepers at night, all make the promise of summer. In summer, the place transforms into a thicket of vines where the chickens used to live, and a temperate ~ungIe of pine trees that cover the overgrown blueberry field. The lawn is freckled with dandelions and Indian paintbrush in a sea of overgrown grass; creating a lush bed for my cat Loki and me. In the fall, the dandelions are turning to balls of white fluff, and I can’t help but make a wish. I wish for q!good school year, and for something to be thankful for when Thanksgiving comes.

Near the tall trees, I am safe. I can go there and nothing can happen to me. In that quiet tranquility, all my worries just seem to float away. The birds fly through the branches without a care in the world, and when I go to there, I can share in that calm. There is always a cool breeze rustling through the canopy of the trees, whispering with memories of years past. The broken swing under the cedar tree, the eroded hammock hanging between thetwo maples/are all part of the place. Even though they are destroyed and utterly unusable, to get rid of them would be to desecrate the place. It makes my inadequacies seem perfect, because I realize there is no such thing as flawed.

Sometimes, I wonder if it’s really worth it. My effort, my painstaking days spent striving for my goals, only to fall and get crushed. But when I go there I think, “If a tree can become so tall, and survive for so long, why can’t I?”. My backyard is my room of padded walls. Igo through timesjwhen I don’t know which way is up, when I am overcome with pessimism. I can go from dispirited to ebullient, from enraged to contented, in a mailer of minutes, and they don’t care. The trees are there, holding my hand, inspiring me to be better.

Earlier, I said that I wished for something to be thankful for, but I don’t have to wish. That place will always be there for me, reminding me of all that I have and all that I can be; and for that I will always be thankful.

Ingrid Peterson