Ohio never asked me to be anything sparkling. She never said I wasn’t Good Enough or made me feel like I was trapped. She showed me her deepest, darkest soils. She pounded me with rains that flood my dreams to this day. Ohio gave me hills to wonder about until I scaled them, and rivers to believe were impermeable until I learned to cannon-ball through them. She cradled me in blazing sunsets and pushed me into the world with fires of faith. Ohio never asked me to be anything but as real as the trees that whispered to me from her surface.