This I Believe

Cassandra - Lawrence, Kansas
Entered on November 4, 2007

I was sitting on the back lawn, drenched in the shade of the thick green ash tree that has grown for almost a century in our back yard. The air was fresh and laced with a slight breeze and all around things seemed to be springing into life. Because of the day’s gorgeous weather I had taken a bowl of strawberries and a big glass of iced tea out into the yard so I could sit and soak up the lovely weather while it lasted. I lazed around for a while, idly twirling a ripped open strawberry in my hand. I began to notice little pockets of juices and fine, foamy structures within the berry. So complex I remember thinking. I popped the strawberry into my mouth and after chewing and swallowing, I began to poke at the ground. I put my face right up against the dirt and for the first time since I was about three, I noticed all the little details, all the wonders that made up the lawn of my back yard. How could it be possible to make all these beautiful little seeds and blades of grass, all these insects, worms, and clumps of dirt? How could they all be so perfect? It’s how they evolved I told myself. The plants find energy from the sun and water. The worms eat the dirt that comes from eroded rocks. These answers were so plain but as I got to thinking about it I realized how truly miraculous it all was. What were the chances that all these chemicals could have come together in such a way that they could produce life and an appropriate habitat for it? It must be less than one in a trillion. I began to think of my birth, of everyone’s births, how we were all amazing accomplishments of nature. Now, had I been a Christian I would have placed these feats of magic on God. Had I been Jewish or Muslin I would have done the same. Had I been Pagan I would have thanked the spirits. Had I been a Hindu I would have thanked some odd looking deity with multiple heads and limbs, not that that’s any crazier than thanking an invisible white man who lives in the sky and watches people all day. However, seeing as I am of no particular faith I choose to believe that life itself is a miracle. It’s as plain and simple as that. I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell but simply that this life is a very special kind of paradise and the only way to see that is to take a closer look and to realize that everything is a miracle.