This I Believe

Ashley - Grand Rapids, Michigan
Entered on January 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Freedom Lies Everywhere

I believe a beach is where true freedom lies. The feeling of hot sand between my toes, the sound of a seagull that flies above me, the brightly colored umbrellas that are sized to cover an entire house when it rains, the sound of children laughing and lastly, the sound of the waves as they crash into the coast. The sun beats down on my entire body and I do not even realize it as I run into the refreshing water. As I look out further past the buoys, I spot a tiny white image which I ultimately know is a ship far out into the water. However, beyond that water is even more water; and it continues into the horizon and meets the sky. I look up at the sky and give the sun a big smile that he will never forget.

I am invincible now. There is nothing that can stop me from doing what I want to do. I do not feel anything but happiness and there is no way anyone can take that away from me. If anyone tried to pull anything on me, I would simply smile and say “he is watching you.” No one can tell me what to do because there are no rules at this place of freedom. I make my own decisions and sometimes the sun, water and sand will make decisions for me. As I lay down on my beach towel, I put on my sunglasses and think to myself ‘so this is paradise.’

I close my eyes softly and I can still see the sun’s rays beaming through my eyelids. I listen to the waves as they crash upon the shore and slowly recede back. A naïve child who has just been introduced to the beach gives out a little screech as the cold water splashes upon his or her leg. I laugh silently and reminisce on the first time that I had come to the beach and the water splashed up on my leg. I also begin to reminisce about my first attempt at building a sandcastle, or the first time I tasted the grittiness of sand in my mouth after I had taken a bite into my sandwich. I have grown since then and am more knowledgeable than I was in my younger years. I only wish for the small child to recognize the freedom of this beach when he or she grows older.

The beach presents a variety of freedoms. The freedom of no authority, the freedom of experience and adventure, the freedom from worry, the freedom of imagination, the freedom of comfort from the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the water. Lastly and most importantly, however, is the freedom of life. To live every day as a new opportunity and to see the beach as my spot in heaven; I know it will exist as I stare out into the horizon and the sky touches the water.