This I Believe

Catherine - Northbrook, Illinois
Entered on October 3, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in shooting stars. It was peaceful and quiet, a perfect summer night, aside from the fact that it was about 50 degrees outside. Nevertheless, bundled up and shivering in the grass, my two best friends and I lay with our eyes locked on the sky. From the moment Colleen saw the first one, the three of us were in complete awe. We had been looking forward to this all day, but we hadn’t expected the amazing display we saw. Every few minutes another brilliant flash of light shot across the dark sky, each rewarded with shouts of excitement from the three of us on the ground. As time passed, it got harder and harder to keep my eyes open to see the amazing show, and I started to drift off, only to be awoken by the sounds of my friends yelling when another star shot by. Again and again, I missed seeing the stars until finally we went inside to go to sleep.

A few days later, thinking about the meteor shower, I started to think about something else. I started to think about how a lot of things in life go just like that night did for me. First, there are a lot of things to anticipate in life, and sometimes they don’t exactly turn out the way we think they will. Sometimes, like the meteor shower, things turn out better than anticipated, while sometimes the things we wait for don’t quite turn out the way we’d hope. Then there’s the element of surprise. You can wait for a meteor shower all day long, and without exception that first one surprises you. From there on in you’re not quite sure what to expect and when, so it’s important to keep your eyes open. Opportunities in life are just like the shooting stars we saw that night, they sparkle and shine for a moment, but if you’re not quick, you’ll miss them. Sometimes it gets tiring waiting for opportunity and we get lazy in watching for them. Those are the times we let opportunities pass by and open our eyes just as we realize others have taken it. Other times our waiting pays off, and even though it’s hard to keep our eyes open we do, and then we can see the opportunity and take it.

The morning after that meteor shower I woke up with the feeling that I had something more than everyone else. I’m not sure how many other people saw the meteor shower, and I’m not quite sure how many got the same thing out of it as I have, but hopefully it’s more than a few. Then maybe instead of just wishing on stars, we’ll start seizing the opportunities those fleeting flashes of light can symbolize. One calm summer night, soaked and shivering I saw one of the most amazing elements of nature. And on that same calm summer night, I learned to believe in shooting stars.