The Little Things

K. - Napoleon, Ohio
Entered on February 16, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’ve never exactly been impressed with the world. From my point of view, I see violence, destruction, carelessness, hate, hurt, helplessness, fear, and anger. My mindset most of the time is to just get where I’m going and ignore where I’m at because it can’t possibly be important in the rest of my life. Lately, however, I’ve been thinking. Perhaps I need to start living in the moment and appreciating where I am. We’re only here for a short time, and after all, I believe in magic in the world.

The summer after my eighth grade year has come to be one of the most important experiences of my life; it was a summer that I saw true beauty. I had the opportunity to travel to Australia and New Zealand with the People to People Student Ambassador Program for three weeks. I love creating new experiences, so off I went into a different hemisphere. When we arrived in Australia, it looked like any other country I’d previously visited. After days of traveling, boating, and more flying, New Zealand opened a door to a world I’d never seen. My breath caught in my chest as I stood upon the brink of a grass-covered crater in the morning sunrise with all of the dew twinkling at me and the warmth of the day’s first light on my cheek. It was in that instant that I caught a glimpse of what magic must be like, and I was sure I’d never see it again.

True beauty and magic can come in many forms. I see it in foreign places of the world; icy glaciers, regal fjords, green valleys, massive crevasses, blue lakes, snow covered mountaintops, ancient Stonehenge, the majestic castles of Europe, vast oceans, and simple, still ponds. I feel it when I step outside on a perfect and silent morning when the fog hangs in the air. I experience it when I dive into my pond after the long, cold months of winter. I touch it when I run my thumb over the cheek of my sleeping baby niece. I know magic exists in the world when I think of my best friend; I did not meet her until my senior year of high school. My family hosted her as a foreign exchange student, but when we met it felt like we had known each other for years. It makes me laugh to think about how we always speak at the same time, and how she tried to teach me Norwegian.

I have come to realize that all I need to do to find the magic in the world is to look at the untouched places. The places where nothing has yet interfered and nature still rules. I just need to look a little harder.