This I Believe

Leigh - Alexandria, Virginia
Entered on May 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that children know the meaning of life before they can speak. I believe in buying Clementines when they are in season. I believe that, in some ways, I am going to become my mother, and I believe that that’s not totally horrible. I believe in red, red hair, red lips, red wine. I believe that we neglect women and children in this world and that one day we will be held accountable for it. I believe in sunlight shining through a canopy of leaves. I believe that my father is ten years older every time I see him. I believe in wallowing around in the bed for hours on a Saturday morning. I believe that elderly people know things that we can never know and that this is a shame.

I believe in making something with my hands – in craft. I believe that there is magic in the staggering gait of toddlers and wonder in fresh flowers on the table. I believe in telling the truth. I believe I could probably beat you at Scrabble. I believe in writing thank you notes. I believe in bathing until my fingers get pruny and that sitting down in a steaming shower and sobbing can be a cathartic experience. I believe in getting on my knees to pray. I believe in picking blackberries on the side of dirt roads (Watch for snakes!). I believe in being nice. I believe in thrift stores. I believe in doing things for the sake of beauty, if for no other reason. I believe in coffee and a newspaper in the morning. I believe in pleasuring the senses.

I believe in decadence. I believe that there is nothing quite so nice as sitting in a rocking chair on a front porch during a thunderstorm. I believe that our deepest fears are the things that unite us at our cores. I believe in wandering around art museums for hours and in losing all sense of time in the stacks in the library. I believe that there is an invisible thread that knits us together. I believe in Jimmy Carter. I believe in words and in their ability to change things, to become art, to transcend. I believe that we take ourselves too seriously. I believe in telling you that you have food stuck in your teeth, or that you’ve left the size sticker on your new pants – the one that reads “XL XL XL XL XL” in one long column. I believe in hope. I believe that we all, in our deepest places, just want to be loved.