This I Believe

Victoria - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 17, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in freeing my mind. I believe in letting my mind run free to swirl and twirl wherever it desires. Through an exploration of newfound nature, I was able to learn how to let myself go.

I woke to a sunshine soaked living room in LA filled with the wafting scents of Thanksgiving feast preparation. Later that day, Teresa, Jacqueline, and I decided we would go on a “park hunt”- a search for the perfect park free from noisy crowds of families and basketball players. Cruising leisurely along the road and singing to the rich, melodious voice of Frank Sinatra, we pulled into the Big Green Park. Driving along the expanse of towering trees and foliage of bold colors, I knew we had arrived. California was my treasure map for freedom, and I had finally found the spot marked X. Inside this hidden treasure of a park, I found freedom from worries and cares that awaited just beyond the fence leading back to the streets of Hacienda Heights. Teresa, Jacqueline, and I hopped out of the car and ran through a patch of trees, crushing the withered leaves beneath our feet until we spotted an empty field. There were three colossal trees with leaves covering the shady ground around their rough, winding trunks. The fall leaves were changing from deep green to hues from peppery red to pumpkin orange and gracefully swaying to the ground. When a gust of wind blew by, the leaves tumbled to the ground, their crinkly surfaces sparing no person or plant in their path. It seemed as though all this, the leaves, light, and wind, was enough to blow my cares away as well. Beyond the trees, however, lay the field. The sun shined a golden yellow on the grass, so bright it seemed, in contrast to the shadows of the trees. The picturesque scene of swaying grass and branches bending in the breeze made happiness surge through me. The three of us rushed into the field where we started a spinning contest. Once we had spun to a point of head-splitting dizziness, we collapsed onto the ground, staring at the pale blue sky dotted with puffs of clouds, letting our thoughts meander and grow. We lay there, content and peaceful, reminiscing on childhood memories and enjoying the company of family.

When we left the park that day, I had a smile on my face that couldn’t escape. I had experienced freedom in a beautiful way. My mind returned from its journey of the park, and it was content. As my body seemed to float out forever like the expanse of the sky, inside was one calm soul, collected and clear.

I believe that everyone should find time to allow their minds to relax. Everybody should find their own Big Green Park, whether it is a place, a book, or even a person. I believe that taking time to relax not only the mind, but also the body, makes all people happier and healthier.