"I am a mountain lover, I am a squash grower, and I..."

Dartmouth College

The Hawaiian word mo’olelo is often translated as “story” but it can also refer to history, legend, genealogy, and tradition. Use one of these translations to introduce yourself.

250 - 300 words

(Dartmouth College)

I am a mountain lover, I am a squash grower, and I am a salty dog rag dancer. I am the third generation in my family to spend my summers in the valley of the Adirondack mountains, unplugged and barefoot nearly every waking moment with the lush earth beneath my feet. I spent my days climbing the mountains, planting and harvesting food, and square-dancing to the joyful sound of the fiddle.

I fell in love with the sacred simplicity and generous bounty of nature's gifts. There is a reverence for life that you achieve when you create a meal from the meat that you raised yourself, vegetables that you pulled from the dirt with your bare hands, and eggs that you gathered early that morning. I can feel myself connected to the planet, breathing with the earth like we are both parts of the same organism.

Between my Adirondack summers, I spent weeks living with the Hopi Indian Tribe grinding corn between rocks while singing native songs under the blistering Arizona sun. I found peace living off only what was around me, enjoying what mother earth had to offer. As one of the Hopi proverbs reads, “time isn't used, it's experienced” and how we chose to experience it, shapes our lives.

I learned to love soil and all its nourishing qualities, the joy of falling asleep under the stars and celebrating a native culture centuries old. My family’s summer tradition of leaving modern technology behind lead me to a life of appreciation and thankfulness without the influence of the digital world. Dreaming without distraction liberated me to genuinely ​experience ​life because just living day to day is not enough, one must learn to appreciate everything around them in order to truly live with the world, not just in it.

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      Word Count: 299/300
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