From The Ashes

Six years ago, I was rushed into a bus in a great hurry, and in the frenzy that happened as we raced away, I turned to see what we were running from.

There, through the tiny back window, past the small faces of my friends and the worried expressions of my teachers, I saw my house. The only home I had ever known, and there, just behind it, nestled in the once green and shining hills, was a wildfire.

I can’t recall what my ten year old self wished for in that moment, but now, with an older and more troubled mind, I’d wish for all the stress, insecurities, and self-deprecating thoughts to drown in a monstrous blaze.

As more and more life-changing decisions present themselves to me, I question myself every step of the way. In these times, I find myself wondering what would happen if everything that holds me back just went away.

I believe that if I burned away all of the negativity, I would emerge from the ashes as a more confident and strong-minded individual, for my biggest obstacle, and my most valuable asset, is myself.

— Ellis Gelt (16 yo)

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