The Big Little Things

Katherine - Fayetteville, New York
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

“Belief” is such an abstract word. It is a collection of thoughts and opinions swirled together deep down in the core of your soul. They make up who you are and determine who you will become. Without beliefs you are nothing but an empty shell, without even a pearl inside. It is my belief that no matter how important you are-or think you are; that you must never forget the “little” things. For, truly, they are the biggest ones of all.

Little things. It’s really quite a broad term. Let’s first talk about what I don’t mean. I don’t mean little things like saying “please and thank you” (although that IS quite important). I don’t mean when your mother says “if I can’t trust you on the little things, how can I trust you on the big things?” What I mean about never forgetting the “little things” is to never forget the simple joys of life. The pure moments, the unaffected laughter. As you grow old never let the light die from your eyes. Never cover your mouth when you smile, and never settle when you could sparkle.

As you move through life you acquire new memories, new values. This is natural but too often, that means leaving the old ones behind. It means turning your back on your childhood, because you’re “too old” and “too cool”. My childhood; the memories that are most precious to me are the ones with my family. They are not the parties I’ve been to, the money that I’ve spent, the clothes that I’ve bought. They are the summer sunsets at our beach house on Lake Ontario; they are the feeling of warm sand on my bare feet, and they are the walks on the beach in the morning when it’s only me and the water. The waves crashing to shore, rippling; washing my feet as I walk on that ever moving border of land and sea. It’s the wonder of watching the stars come out, sparkling one by one, an array of celestial diamonds thrown across black velvet. It’s my dad telling me each ones name, each one’s story. It’s the exhilaration of watching a storm cross the lake, coming right toward me. I spread my arms wide; laughing into the wind. No fear. Come and get me, I seemed to say.

Now, in a world much more complicated, it is those memories I return to. When I doubt myself, I remember that night on the lake, laughing with the pure joy of it into the face of the storm. In a harsh, cold world I remember the feeling of the warm soft sand on my toes. When I need to be alone, but can’t get away from a crowd, I recall those solitary walks on the lake shore. All of them comforting, soothing. Telling me the five simplest, yet most consoling words I know: Don’t be afraid, I’m here. Our modern world has many fleeting comforts. Technology, money, clothes…but of all these tangible things, none of them can compare to the simple “little” things that have always been and always will be.

It’s those moments. No audience, no stage. Those few moments that are the hardest to account for because they are the most precious. There really are no words for them. It is like trying to catch the essence of hope, and of freedom and wonder in a net. It slips right through like rays of sunlight. But like, sunlight, these memories don’t have to be caught. You should let them fill up the world with their light; don’t try to hide them away. Because it is like hiding away a piece of your soul…a piece that you may never find again.