This I Believe

Amy - Katy, Texas
Entered on December 1, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of flashlights. Lights on. Lights off. With a simple flip of a switch, light is emitted through the darkness. And just like that, all my fears and worries disappear.

One night, in the year 2005, it was raining hard and there was thunder and lightning. The tree branches were banging against my window. The impact of the thunder could be felt, as my computer desk started to vibrate. Suddenly, it was pitch black. The four light bulbs on my ceiling fan no longer gave off light. My computer had turned off. The clock on my VCR showed that it was -:– o’clock. Slowly, I walked out of my room. Looking down from the upstairs railing, I could see nothing. Sure, once the electricity comes back, the sectional would still be positioned against the window and the armchair would still be across from it, but my heart was still racing. I went back into my room and got the flashlight from my bedside table.

I flipped the switch and the flashlight produced light. I instantly felt protected. I went downstairs to ensure that everyone was safe. Everyone was, so I felt more at ease. Without the computer or television to entertain us, my sister suggested that we do something together. We just sat in her room and had fun, being carefree. We’d go through many rounds of Jacks and Sevens and Crazy Eights. Once card games started to get boring, we decided to make funny faces, with the flashlight nearby. My sister would make these ridiculous faces and distort her face into unfamiliar shapes. I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t even breathe. She knew how to comfort me. The flashlight made the doubt, worry, or fear of being alone fade into the darkness.

During those dark hours, with the aid of that silver flashlight, I found an outlet for freedom and happiness to shine through. The darkness no longer bothered me. I was no longer scared or alone. At that moment, I had my sister to help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. In life, the darkness can sometimes reveal one’s deepest feelings and greatest desires. The darkness, during that night, allowed me to embrace the person that I was. Not only did it give me the chance to be who I wanted to be, but it helped strengthen the bond between me and my sister and taught me to not take life so seriously. There’s no need to run around your house, turn off all the lights and pull out your flashlight. Instead, open your heart to others and let them see the real you. Reach out to others during your darkest hours and don’t be afraid to feel their love and warmth because I believe that someone will always be there to bring some sunshine into your life. Everybody has their own guiding light – a light that will lead them out of the sadness and into safety.