This I Believe

Dorothy - Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 20, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Moon Rocks

If you asked me “What did you do today?” I would probably say: “8:15: I woke up. I went to class. Came Home. Ate lunch. Took a nap. Went to the gym. Had dinner. Did some class work. Went to bed.” This is what I did everyday. Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s the decade. Maybe it’s America. No matter the cause, my life had evolved into a few short sentences. I wasn’t born this way. My sentences used to be filled with words that descriptions. Words you could touch and words you liked to say just to hear them.

When I was eight-years-old, I would go outside and collect dandelions from the green grass. The petals were the same color as the sun. I would explore the gravel in the road. Here I would find smooth gray rocks. I knew how to transform them with fluorescent chalk. I called them moon rocks. Everyday a moon rock was discovered like the finding of new planets. These moon rocks have disappeared.

I asked myself if an effective life, where bills are paid, and laundry is folded, can be lived on the same planet where you find moon rocks – treasures discovered for yourself that are unique and cannot be duplicated. I took a look at the example of my Aunt Guia. She used to be a nurse. It gave her high blood pressure. My grandmother, who I call Lola, fell down the stairs one day and never stopped being scared. Lola decided never to be alone. So, Aunt Guia quit nursing in a hospital and began nursing her mother.

Aunt Guia’s life seemed like mine, where every action functions as a gear of a clock and the only way it ticks is if the gears do what they are supposed to do. She’s forty-five now. Does the laundry. Cooks breakfast. Warms the milk. Cooks lunch. Sweeps the floor. Cooks dinner. Nothing for herself, it seems. Yet she retains her ability to find moon rocks. Madonna is her fluorescent chalk. She uses Madonna to turn everything that appears to be just a stone on the street or a tile in a kitchen into something from another world: a moon rock. Aunt Guia dances as if she is in a sold-out concert. An enthusiasm fills the house. The curtains are a brighter red. The bass shakes the goldfish bowl, and the murky adobe is livelier.

Examining Aunt Guia, tore down my assumption. The moon rocks don’t disappear. The eyes that see them and the hands that make them do. In exercising all of my muscles that crunch numbers or mark calendars, I had let my moon rock eyes and hands atrophy. We can have responsibility and attention to the creation and discovery of the small and beautiful. If we want this world to be full of moon rocks, then we must keep training our eyes to recognize them; when we don’t see them, we must create them. We deserve it. This I believe.