This I Believe

Alyson - Cerrillos, New Mexico
Entered on March 27, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: hope

This I believe.

When I was a girl, my father, uncle and handful of my cousins took a trip to one of the undeveloped caves at Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. We were each issued a flashlight and walked together into the cave with our steady guide.

We gathered deep inside the cave and our guide asked us all to get comfortable. One by one, each flashlight was switched to “off” until the only light that remainded was the glow in her hand.


Darkness and silence was followed by her confident voice:

“This is what is called ‘cave light.”

Complete darkness and it is called “light!” I was amazed at this concept and have had it with me since that day as an eager 10-year-old.

I have carried that light through adolescence and highschool and my first broken heart. I have carried that light through a move across country and the loss of my grandparents and the day I, as a new college graduate, watched as President Bush Sr. announced the beginning of the First Gulf War.

I feel young, now at 40, with life ahead and life past. It is in my generation that scientific studies about positive attitude linked to health and well-being make headlines.

My 90-year-old grandmother was born in December 1916. She was born during a time of war and may likely die during a time of war. She has experienced the silence and darkness of humanity through times of war and times of peace.

Yet, in my grandmother’s life, just like that day in the Caverns nearly 30 years ago, the “cave light” still remains in our seemingly dark world.

My beacon of hope is this “cave light” that I carry. I cannot stop believing that even amidst the violence and war that darken our world today, the light of hope shines on.

This I believe.