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I am from orchards and soccer balls, windmills and beaches where it is too dangerous to swim;
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I am from hillsides of waving white and pink blossoms and truckloads of dark-faced strangers to reap their fruit;
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I am from secret hideaways earned by battle-scarred arms and legs and hair torn out by the roots yet filled with sweetness and laughter;
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I am from the pine trees are a home run and the power pole marks home plate;
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I am from woodsmoke-scented nights huddled on the hill beneath a blanket, cradling a thermos filled with stew, the imprint of a soccer ball still stinging on my frozen thigh;
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I am from snow forts that last all winter and “better use the garage door, it’s the only one not blocked”;
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I am from shoveling the farm pond and begging Santa for ice skates, toboggans and runner sleds, hot chocolate and cookies, and hand-knit hats, scarves, and mittens;
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I am from hot afternoons playing kick the can and late nights playing flashlight tag, 
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“don’t swim there because of the undertow” and “didn’t you hear a kid drowned there,” and bet you can’t swim out to the raft without drowning;
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I am from popup trailers, mountain pies, campfires, and climbing a new mountain every year;
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