This I Believe

Taylor - Marietta, Georgia
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

White foam crashed down on the beach and bubbled like two chemicals mixing together. I was about five when I first saw and remembered the magnificent waves. It was the time when I first felt sand grind through my toes. It was the time when I first tasted salt water in my mouth: refreshing but bitter. The beach was also the first place that taught me all about life’s lessons.

I would go to the beach every week at least once. I would race up stairs when I would hear my mother’s voice say, “Get your bathing suits on.” The beach was only a few minutes away, so there was plenty of time to get to play. For eight years this was a weekly routine. Life felt easy, and there were no worries. But actually I was beginning to mature and learn about life.

I learned simple lessons such as waiting for twenty minutes after eating before going in the ocean, or do not scream for help unless you are in real danger. Everyone knows these simple rules without even going to the beach, but I was taught a little bit more than that; I was taught more complicated lessons.

I learned to enjoy life and live life to the fullest. I learned about friendship. I learned about the bond between parents and children. I learned that life is filled with enjoyment but also hardship every time I stepped on the sun-baked sand. The stories and memories helped me learn.

When I met my first friend on the beach, I knew he would be my last. I played with my old friends and new friends in the water and on the sand. Also, when I gasped for air after I was pounded by waves, my family was there. They were always there for me like an unbreakable bond of atoms. These memories along with family picnics and body surfing with friends were the key.

These memories come from special places in all people’s lives. I believe in these special places. I believe that everyone has a place where they grow and learn the lessons of life. These places do not have to be a favorite place. It does not have to be a perfect place, or it can be the perfect place. My place is the Florida beach.

It was the last time at the Florida beach. I look back at all the memories and noticed I have learned all I need to know. I was interrupted by a scream from my friend, “It’s your last day here, let’s have some fun.” I followed him into the water, with my family watching me. I knew it was my last day, but I knew I could still learn something. I jumped into the cool water with one goal in mind: I am going to learn one last lesson before I leave my special place.