This I Believe

Madeleine - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on October 3, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

As a young girl, one of my favorite things in the world was to go and visit my grandparents and walk down through the woods to the creek about a quarter mile from their house. My grandpa would help me walk across the jagged rocks and catch leaping frogs, pick up the pinching crawfish, and best of all, made me laugh. I remember merely thinking back to the slippery frogs jumping out of his hands and hopping away could make me keel over with hysteric laughter. The two of us would walk back to his small but cozy home hand in hand, singing and finding happiness in the colorful sunset.

Now, when I return to the creek, the adventurous risk I had once taken, stepping across the same jagged rocks, somehow doesn’t give me the same exhilarating feeling as it had so many times before. The creek is so much narrower, and much shallower than it had once seemed to me. My grandpa and I still laugh together about the memories we share, and the bright and colorful sunset seems to be the same as the ones we had watched so many years ago.

I believe that the joys and everyday risks once experienced in childhood can still occur well beyond the days when our lives were practically stress-free through laughter. Although the razor-sharp, jagged rocks may dull over time, the sight of a frog escaping the hands of a trying old man can still evoke laughter and a brief feeling of being four years old once more. Taller and a lot less naïve than I was when I was young, the world seems to be both a smaller place for me but a larger one at the same time. It’s a place without the adventure I once found in such simple tasks as climbing the stairs, and has been replaced by the worries and stresses of a girl, still young, with her entire life ahead of her. By laughing, I find myself back at the creek with my grandpa, without a worry in the entire world.