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Home | Episode #60
A Home in the Galaxy
January 13, 2021 | Student Producer:

Lily Yates
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A Home in the Galaxy
First-year Ellie Frank presents home in a story and song. (7 minutes)

I went to the same summer camp for 8 years. Soon after I got there, it didn't really take me very long to figure out the other kids in my cabin didn't really like me very well or they’d just rather talk to somebody else. Most of them knew each other already and I was the new one. It didn't help that we liked different things, either. I liked to catch tadpoles, where they generally preferred to, well, not do that. Looking back, there was a fair amount of bullying that I tolerated. Still, if I was lucky after dinner while I crunched my way up that gravel trail mountain, I would look up and I would see that the whole sky had turned cotton candy pink. I’d catch a firefly or two on my way and hold them in my hands as tiny glowy travel companions until I arrived at my cabin. I would climb to the top of my bunk bed where the pillow was still slightly damp with that morning’s dew, but I didn't mind and would throw my giant fuzzy brown comforter over my head and sleep. That place was home to me. 

 

When I first went to New Zealand, the first thing we did was go on a hike. While everyone was swimming, I opted instead to take photos of the local plants. I felt like some kind of National Geographic scientist scouring for the most photogenic plant. I found one whose leaves aligned in just a way to create all the colors of a rainbow. We didn't stay long in any one place, but that trip might have been the most fun I've ever had. When the windows of the van fogged up, my friends and I would cover the whole thing with stupid-looking smiley faces and we would count the number of cows and sheep we saw to see who would find the most on our way down the roads. One day, we explored a cave. They took us all in inner tubes to float down an underground river, and we all interlocked tubes, each person laying their head on another person's legs and they turned off all the lights. The only way I can describe what I saw was a galaxy. I swear, if you told me that's what the universe looked like, I would believe you, but apparently they were glow worms. The guides told us also that this portion of the cave had fantastic acoustics and most of the acapella club just happened to be there. Floating down the river and singing, hearing the reverberations without being able to see anyone, only the tiny glowing dots on the ceiling, that was home to me.

 

I wasn't expecting to, but since I've been away for college I found myself thinking about my parents’ home back in Missouri, where I'm from. My brother had to come home from college early, so I'm kind of alone in my aloneness, if that makes any sense. Some nights after dinner I would stay after instead of retreating to my room like usual, and I would sit silently in the living room with my parents - and don't forget the dogs. We would just sit there together and sometimes talk, but not always. We would just be in each other's company while the background murmuring of some old show on the television put me to sleep with at least one dog laid beside me. It's those moments that I think back on and find myself missing, because that was home to me. 

That's my story, hope you liked it. To wrap things up with me, I have been asked to perform a song. I don't claim to take credit for the composition of the song, definitely. This is “Things That Make It Warm” by Cavetown. 

 

*ukulele strumming*

My feathers seem to have taken the brunt of the storm

They are feeling pretty worn

Finally found shelter tucked away inside a wall

Though for now it's pretty small

You and me

We can make this hole a home

We can fill it up with grass and all the things that make it warm

When you leave

To go fly across the sea

I'll be waiting here

With Junior and the flowers that we've grown

Collecting clumps of sticks and leaves

Has left me pretty tired

Can I rest with you awhile?

We snuggle up between the stones

Wind blows peacefully

There's no place I'd rather be

You and me

We can make this hole a home

We can fill it up with grass and all the things that make it warm

When you leave

To go fly across the sea

I'll be waiting here

With Junior and the flowers that we've grown