The Woods Are My Favorite

When I was an AmeriCorps volunteer, I taught literacy at an elementary school. First grade was one of the groups I spent the most time with. One day I was sitting in the classroom, primarily distracting others while they were supposed to be working, I realize in hindsight. 

Anyway, we were talking about places we'd been, and I mentioned some of the more far-flung (from California, anyway) spots I had visited in the past. They got really excited when I told them about Egypt, and started shouting one question after another, rapid-fire:
"Have you ever been to China?!"
"Have you ever been to Africa?!"
"Have you ever been to Antarctica?!"

Then, over my shoulder, a whisper. I turned and saw a little girl named Jade behind me, smiling, eyes twinkling like she had the best place in the world in mind. 
"Inga," she said.
"Yes, Jade?" came my reply.
"Have you ever been... to the woods?"
I twinkled right back at her. 
"Yeah. The woods are my favorite."
"Mine too."



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