I believe in nature. Nature is very powerful, possessing the ability to soothe our bodies and relieve stress. I learned this while doing an assignment in my English class to spend an amount of time in nature with no interruptions or distractions and then writing a response to it. This had a positive effect on me, opening my eyes to my surroundings and what I used to disregard and take for granted every day.
I remembered this when I went to my step grandma’s house in Santa Cruz for an annual get together. Every year she holds a family gathering in remembrance of my dad’s dad, Patrick, who died while I was young. At this gathering there is “the big hike” which I’m usually not that excited about, considering its 11 miles uphill. Everyone does it together but I usually poop out at about mile into it and walk back with a few others. However, this time my parent’s were surprised to find out that I was eager to go on the hike. While trailing uphill my eyes were fixed on the wildlife and the plants, still damp from the rain earlier that morning. It was sheer beauty. About half way through the hike we took a break by a creek and rested while everyone told stories about my grandpa. Even though I didn’t have any stories to share, since I don’t remember him, I listened in on everyone else’s. My grandma explained how she liked to think of him still alive with us as a butterfly. We then all had a moment of silence before going on to reach the end of the hike. When we finally reached the top I was exhausted, but so proud! I had made it, and although I was probably going to be sore for the next 2 days I enjoyed every minute! My mom took a picture of me and my dad at the top and we headed back to the house to eat. When we got home I looked at all the pictures that we took. As I flipped through them I stopped on one noticing something in it. Beside me and my dad’s proud smiles there sat a butterfly resting on the rock next to us.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.