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Amy made her way through the house. It was nice being able to live out here in the country. Not having to wake up to tooting trains or honking cars as she did when she lived in Seattle. True, they now lived by the highway, but at least the cars and trucks that drove by didn’t make such a racket as they would in the nearby town of Coeur d’Alene where there was traffic and stoplights.

She went to the kitchen and made herself a thermos of steaming hot cocoa with marshmallows before putting on a fuzzy hat, her coat, and boots. Finally, Amy grabbed a bag which contained a notebook and her best drawing pencil. She was anxious to get outside and quickly made a beeline for her newest favorite spot to enjoy nature.

When she came to the dry patch under the big tree, Amy ducked under the bent boughs and nestled up against the rough fir bark. She then carefully arranged her notebook, pencil, and thermos. Before she put pencil to paper she took a sip of her sticky, sweet drink and settled in to watch the cars drive by.

They resembled little ants going about their own business, not giving any thought to the dragonfly that was watching them from above. Amy imagined that once in a while a little child would look up out of her car window and wonder what lucky kid could live on that hill and have all of nature’s benefits so nearby.

Peace girl sitting by a tree
It was nice being able to live out here in the country

Amy’s thoughts began to focus into a clear picture and she started drawing the calm creek, the marshy fields, the dense forests, and the rocky bluffs. When she was finished with the landscape she added in the details: the ice patches on the creek edges, the A-frame house on the far mountain, and the little cars on the highway.

After she was finished with her sketch and back inside the cozy house, pulling out her colored pencils, Amy realized that not many kids have the opportunity to live outside the city where they can climb the tall dark green trees, go swimming any day of the summer in a bright blue creek, and explore the soft grass-covered hill, looking for interesting animals.

When Amy had finished adding the final colored touches to her drawing, she thought of asking her mom if she could invite some friends over to make Christmas wreaths and introduce them to the wonderful peace that the country has to offer.

Peace Alahna Harrison
Alahna Harrison, 13
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Peace Sarah Pi
Sarah Pi, 13
San Jose, California