I'm not exactly Dorothy Gale. But I am from Kansas. And I do often long for a whirlwind to whisk me away to the magical Land of Oz. My world is in sepia tone and is full of cattle and wheat and tractors and a never-ending expanse of flat brown land and cloudless sky.

You have many beautiful mementos of my home state in your charm collection. But I do not wish to claim them as a part of my history. Instead, I wish to pay homage to that enchanted Rainbow (charm #8186) over which, "way up high” there rests a brilliant, Technicolor land of mystery, wonder, and song.

I am a curious student who reads constantly. I read fat books and skinny books and old books and new books and deep books and silly books (charm #3160). Between those 'dog-eared' pages, I find the worlds outside the boundaries of my brown-hued reality. When I was a bit younger, I all-too-briefly toured seven European countries as part of a student choir (Treble Clef - charm #0292). I loved Germany. We stayed in a medieval town with a great maze in the yard. I dream of that place, sometimes, with it's great looming towers of well-aged stone and the tourist shops that sold swords and pewter dragons in their windows. I hold on to those memory/dreams longer than necessary, sometimes (Dreamcatcher - charm #3698). I doubt I will ever see Germany again. Just sepia tone.

I am, you see, afraid to leave my world of wheat for a world of wonderment. The world is too big and too fierce. I wish I could be like a mighty lion, or a calm and confident tiger. But I am not prone to acts of bravery. I am a mouse. My friends and family do not like to see me so unassuming. They push me, with love. This charm is a reminder of their confidence in me (One Day at a Time - charm #7931). Perhaps I am capable of wearing the tiger's stripes? (charm #8312)

My friends say that I am lucky (Four Leaf Clover - charm #0393) because I always do well whatever I put my mind to. While their logic is flawed, this is hard to argue, because I am, indeed, quite lucky. I am lucky that I have lived to the ripe age of twenty, despite being born three months too early on a freezing cold December day (December birthstone - charm #4764). I am never late, even now (Hourglass - charm #3647). I value my time too much; for fear that it might suddenly be yanked away from me.

It is very possible I will never leave here for good. Perhaps I will forever be like Dorothy Gale, staring up at rainbows and wishing for “troubles melt[ing] like lemon drops.” But I know that the world is out there (Globe - charm #8281), waiting, calling, promising to push aside the sepia and reveal a universe of bright neon color and dreams that do not need to be held, because they simply last forever. 

Katherine Jones
St. Francis, KS

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