A New Trail This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 18, 2008
My feet are not my most glamorous feature. Pale and bony, long and thin, they spread out from under me as inelegant expressions of bipedal banality. Yet it is to these humble appendages that I owe a debt of gratitude, for they led me up and down the snaking paths of the Wasatch Mountains.

For five years I lived in Salt Lake City, where the Rockies spilled to my doorstep. Any summer day would find me on the trail, my feet crashing through all things messy, wild, and wonderful. There I found my wholeness, the unrestrained exhilaration that comes only when mud spots dot my arms and creek water soaks my socks.

The summer before ninth grade, however, whisked me to the suburbs of St. Louis, where my cottonwoods became street signs and my waterfalls, drainage pipes. Yet my feet would not forget the mountains, and the repressed hiker in me would soon find solace.

I began to walk everywhere. To the coffee shop, to the art festival, to the bookstore, to nowhere in particular. I defy passing drivers packaged in air-conditioned perfection and neighborhood planners who see no need for sidewalks. This is my quiet rebellion against those who smother soil with asphalt and trap trees amidst seas of concrete. This is my resistance, my resilience; one foot in front of the other, I find the native rhythm that once accompanied me up the side of a mountain.

Who am I? I am a nature-seeker, a ­wilderness-lover, a nonconformist nature freak. I am the suburban hiker, and my feet love me for it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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tweedle dee said...
Jan. 12, 2009 at 1:58 am
you go girl!!!
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