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When I was about seven, I asked my parents if we were poor. And it still breaks my heart to think of how their tired voices stuttered, searching for any word but the truth. We didn’t have much, but we had this land. We had our animals. And my parents had a dream. A dream where my brother and I grew up in relationship with the earth, who whispered secrets with the wind, who knew death early and, in turn, felt the responsibility to live life fully. I spent the latter half of my young life wanting nothing more than to move to a big city, to comb the tangles from my hair and wash the dirt from beneath my fingernails. Looking back, I don’t think I have ever felt more alive than I did then.

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