This I Believe

Naómi - Lafayette, California
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: gratitude, nature
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Somewhere in the long stretch between President’s Day Weekend and the Spring Break, I stopped thinking about the coming day. I convinced myself that time continued unchanged, as I automatically went through the motions: wake up, school, homework, sleep. While life plodded on, I became stuck in a rut and looked forward to liberation from the cycle of monotony on graduation day.

What saved me was not graduation, what saved me was not the dearly anticipated weekend: it was the sun. Its warm light stretched between the clouds one afternoon while I walked to sixth period. I stopped to observe the incandescent circle in the sky. I noticed how it revealed the evaporating steam, how moon-like it seemed behind the clouds, how anything it didn’t touch was cast in darkness. The natural brightness seemed so unexpected after a bitter month of frost. I finished my day smiling, carrying the color that its rays had left on me. Who knew that sunlight could bring such ecstasy?

The sun thawed my cold skepticism. In looking at the big picture, I realize that I had been missing out on the small details, the small details that make life exciting. Suddenly there was a world beyond my bored glance; my energy and effort to enjoy myself became boundless. Three friends and I bought a bouquet of flowers and handed daisies, roses, and tulips to passer-bys in Union Square. My elation soon overcame my initial awkwardness. I had the power not only to make myself happy, but to cheer others by adding a pleasant twist to their customary walk down Polk Street. Hans Christian Andersen once wrote, “Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower”. After all, who would be more credible about contentment than the man who invented “happily ever after”?

I believe that it is the small experiences that create our being. Now I mark everyday with another little discovery or accomplishment: finding a long lost scarf under a pile of clothes, hearing a song for the first time, or painting my toenails orange with green stripes. Or maybe it is looking to the sun…the harbinger of life…and finding everything is illuminated.