Place Where You Live:

Cross Creek Ranch, Paso Robles, California

The place that made me

If my body was boiled down and all that remained were particles, you would find a lake of liquid, a hay bale of straw, a pile of acorns, hair made of tall grass blowing in the breeze and a trail of dirt that leads to my heart.

The 200 acres I was raised on is in every part of me. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the warm breeze blowing through my window on summer nights and the melody of frogs and crickets harmonizing together to sing me to sleep. I can still feel the thick horse hair between my fingers and the smell of dirt as I saddle up. The feel of my clothes clinging to me as the irrigation sprinklers soak me in sweet relief from the afternoon sun. The solitude you feel standing on the dock before making that plunge into the dark depths of the lake.

I’ve never been freer then when I walked out of my double-wide house and felt the natural world underneath my feet and the breeze of endless possibilities on my cheek. I didn’t need anyone else or anything. I would hike to the highest hill and just look. See the eagle flying in the sky, the cows grazing in the field, my dad driving the tractor, it was such a peaceful picture.

I wish I could feel that peace again. These days I don’t go back to the place that made me. For 22 years I had dreams of getting married on the soil I did all of my growing on, just like my parents did. But that dream has been taken from me. Greed is the darkest shadow of all. I worry that I won’t ever go back. That the person I find to love forever won’t ever know the place that I am. Because to not know this place, is to not know me.