This I Believe

Libby - Elgin, Illinois
Entered on October 28, 2006

Life brings about many storms throughout life. Without help, it can be tough getting through a powerful storm. I know that without the careful advice from my friends, a hand to help me up or the perseverance to get through it together, the storms in life could have caused a disastrous flood.

I was hiking in the breathtaking mountains of Romania. It was all smiles and laughter as we started down the mountain. Every once in a while, I could hear an “OW!” or a “Where’d that come from?” and see smiles fade for just a split second. Thorns were everywhere along the path, waiting to prick anyone who walked by. We stayed close together and decided to warn each other of the upcoming prickers.

After surviving the prickers together, we then encountered what we named The Safari. The Safari was the side of the mountain covered in overgrown ferns. By overgrown, I mean feeling like an ant that looks all around and is surrounded by a sea of green. All I could see were the feet that belonged to the person I was trying to follow. It wasn’t too bad, that is, until I stepped a little to the left and slipped just a bit. Looking up, I was relieved to see a hand dart down to help me up and then continue on our journey.

After we ventured the rest of the way down to the valley, it was a nice, simple walk through the forest. The sound of a nearby bubbling creek was soothing and made lunch quite relaxing. “We made it!” I thought. Now that we had hiked down, we could handle anything for the way back. All it had to do was rain and we might have been in some trouble. To our dismay, it did just that.

It was just a little sprinkle, enough to cool us off, but not enough to drench us. As we wound our way through the forest, it began to rain harder. Some people decided to stay under a tree for coverage; others of us saw no point. For by this time, the sky was pouring buckets of water on our path, drenching every single one of us.

As we approached the steep sections of the forest, it was almost impossible to get up the many slippery slopes. Rain and mud were rushing down and it was too slippery to go up on your own. I was with a group of four other people. We decided to form a chain and help each other up the hill. It took a lot of working together, but we all made it to the top. As we stumbled to the top, the rain died down and the view was amazing. It was worth all the struggle to see the quiet mountainside in Romania.

There are many times when it seems it’s best to give up and let the storm take over, but with the help of some friends the storms can turn in to just a sprinkle of struggle and leave a lasting memory.