This I Believe

Brett - knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: death
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Amazing Events

When I was of the age 17, my family and I planned on going to a canyon in Caliente Nevada. On this day I had an amazing realization. It is wonderful how a traumatic experience can open your mind.

The day was Sunday around 1:00 P.M. and the sky was clear the day was a perfect fall day without wind, and the sun shining bright. My family, my friend Seth, and I got into our mini-van and headed to a canyon in Caliente, Nevada. Seth is a Friend of mine that my family housed when we were both 15. I’ve known Seth since the 5th grade he was like a brother to me.

When we arrived at the canyon Seth and I immediately went exploring. The canyon had walls made of soft white sickles that jutted out of the ground up to heights of 500 feet. It was like a maze, some places narrowed into a dead end and some allowed for climbing. After about an hour worth of climbing Seth and I reached the top of one of the canyons inner walls. We were now on a cliff that looked like a rooftop with slanted slopes to both sides of the peak. It was a flat path, about one and a half feet wide. Only a short distance existed between the path and sheer slops that drop over 200 feet to the canyons floor. As I was casually walking on this path my foot slid out from under me, I did a belly slide for about 30 feet. Seth was just stunned and watched me fall knowing there wasn’t anything he could do to help me. In the moment of my almost certain death, time felt slow. The funny thing was, I wasn’t worried about death, I was worried about life. My instant reaction was to dig my toes and fingers into the ground as hard as I could. Luckily after what seemed to be an eternity, I came to an abrupt stop with my feet dangling over the cliff. Amazingly, the only thing stopping me from falling now was my fingers dug tightly into the ground, however bloodied and battered I eventually made my way back up to the top safe and sound.

On this day I had realized how fragile life really is. My life style changed from being an introvert to an extrovert. I planned on living a full life for as long as I was breathing. After I realized that it takes little to nothing for our lives to end, I planned on living a full life for as long as I can breathe. This experience has given me motivation to truly live in the moment. It is truly amazing how one event can change a person’s view of their life, and how they live from that moment on. Events such as these are truly a blessing. I wish that others could go through such a traumatic experience to open their eyes to the world. I hope to savor the idea that life is too sweet to be short lived.