This I Believe

bennett - plover, Wisconsin
Entered on October 20, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature


It was many years ago when I first hit the water, and I’m sure that the experience was one of panic and terror. A childlike mindset tells us to fear the unfamiliar, and cling to tradition. While the initial experience of hitting the water was certainly not enjoyable, it was one of the most important experiences of my life. Water has taught me to branch away from all things solid, to dive into a world that constantly changes. Water has taught me to move freely, to use my own experience to dictate my action and thought.

The only way to get through the water is to take strokes and move with the waves. I believe that one decisive action can alter my life infinitely more than any amount of wishful thinking. To truly experience the freedom of the water, movement –even a little splashing –is necessary. Staying firmly put will lead to only one place: the bottom of the pool.

I was swimming in a lake not too long ago, swimming from a boat towards the shore. I had my goggles with me, so I felt confident that I would be able to find my way back to the land. I swam and swam and swam, and by the time I lifted my head from the murky water, I saw that I was completely turned around! My dependence on my goggles blinded me from the big picture, and all I saw was the same chunky water. That experience taught me to keep from depending on just one perspective; that I desperately need to lift my head now and then.

Water holds the key to both life and death. Water does not judge, it does not hate, or discriminate. It can quench thirst and extinguish fire, but water means death to those who don’t swim. The ability to swim allows individuals to reach new places, from the farthest island to the deepest depth. Those who can’t swim can’t understand the joy of swimming, and the water becomes an image of fear and confusion. Water is simply a gateway to new knowledge, thought, and movement. All that is needed is a willing mind and a quick jump.

Water is life, water is death. Water is solitude, water is company. Water is action, water is peace. But most importantly, water is freedom. I believe in water.