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Reid Fallers

St. Elizabeth School, 10th grade

A Home

   “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.” Emily Webb from Our Town says this line while observing her funeral as a ghost in the last act of the renowned play. Emily, only after death, realizes how wonderful her life was and learns she should have appreciated life on Earth whenshe had it. This quote describes my feelings toward the world and how most people are blind to the beauty of the Earth. The Earth has the magnificence of being the only planet in the solar system currently able to house human beings. In a way, you could say that Earth is the largest home in existence.

     The official definition of a home is “The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” I believe a home to be something more. I believe home is a place where you feel comfortable, a place that keeps you warm and well fed, and a place where you feel safe. A home can be anywhere — your friend’s house, your school, even your workplace. People can find comfort and make their own home anywhere throughout the world. However, some people don’t have a place to call home, which I can unfortunately understand all too well.

         On January 31, 2024, a little bit before eight p.m., at 212 Morrison Road, New Castle, DE, my house, home to my parents, two dogs, and me, caught fire due to a fuse box explosion. I was sitting in my bedroom with one of my dogs, Roxy, when the lights flickered. I thought a strong gust of wind had just hit a utility pole, as that had happened at least five times before, and my mom would probably call me to come downstairs. Just as I predicted, she did call me but her voice sounded different. I could hear the panic in it, panic that wasn’t ever there before. She yelled, “Reid, grab Roxy and Remy. There’s a fire!” Roxy ran downstairs before I could even get off my bed and stood at the bottom of the stairs, terrified. I grabbed her and ran through the front door with my Mom and Dad followed with Remy. My parents and I ran to their cars and backed them out of the driveway into the road to prevent an even bigger explosion. I had my phone in my pocket so I grabbed it. My instinct was to dial 911 but I didn’t. I guess I didn’t understand the severity of the situation. My parents, after moving their cars, both dialed 911. I do feel a tang of guilt, like I could have saved more if I had called 911 a few seconds earlier, maybe if I had grabbed the fire extinguisher in the laundry room, maybe if I was downstairs and got out quicker. I felt powerless just watching my home burn down in front of my eyes. I tried to close my eyes within the car but couldn’t due to my dogs’ anxious shivering. I watched as the firefighters broke the windows, tore the siding and roofing off, and watered down my house with their huge hose. After a few hours, we were able to go back inside. The previously white walls were covered in black soot and everything had the horrible smell of smoke, which my Mom to this day can still smell even miles away from the house. Only after a couple of days staying with relatives did the feelings really start to hit me and I could finally understand what had happened. The home I’ve been living in for over fifteen years was gone in what had felt like just a few seconds. The house fire, although only occurring a month ago, has made me change my perspective on life, home, and the Earth.

 The Earth is the largest home in existence housing every single person living on it. When my home burnt down, only three people and two animals were displaced. If the earth burnt down, 8.1 billion humans and 20 quintillion animals would be displaced, homeless with nowhere else to go and just like my own home, we could lose it at any second. Billions could all be gone.  Unlike my own home however, we already know that things are getting worse as forest fires erupt in Australia, thousand pounds of bombs are dropped in Gaza, and California continues to be flooded. This gives us the advantage of being able to prevent the world from becoming just another burnt down home within the neighborhood of the stars. 

  The world holds billions of humans and is still continuing to grow every day. We continue to build new rooms and create new things within this ever-growing house, some that help and some that hurt. Every person, one day, will have to recognize how the Earth is home to themselves and billions of others before it is gone if they want to have a chance to save this beautiful planet. As Emily Webb says, “Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”

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