This I Believe

Melissa - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on October 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature
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At the start of the day, every morning I can, I wake and go out my front door just to watch the sun rise between the ancient spindling trees, the birds, their freedom, like paper planes floating gracefully through the sky. Every night, I peer out my window to watch the sun fade into darkness and the deep purple night sky become illuminated with stars.

I believe in the preservation of nature.

Ever since the days of Velcro sneakers and short bowl-cut hair, I’ve been introduced to the wonders of nature. My parents with all good intention took the initiative to instill in me an appreciation for clear-blue skies, babbling brooks, and too-hot barren dirt hills at the top of the ridge. So out we went, my mom, dad, and I from our humble abode every weekend, driving in our “four-wheel-drive” 1994 Ford Escort through rocky uphill pathways and downward sloping one-way paths, frighteningly close to the un-railed edge of the canyon. As adventurous as this may appeal to adrenaline-seeking hiking enthusiasts, I, young of age and maturity, took no interest in getting up early and staying out late, dragging my legs through clouds of stirred-up dust in walking boots with no decent food or even a gift shop nearby.

Looking back on all those memories, at first, it seemed tedious and miserable to go hiking for all those years. But then as I grew and I emerged into my own person, I came to realize the deeper meaning behind their insistence of appreciating nature. Nature is the fundamental thing that bounds all walks of life together. It created the foundation of the planet, its ecosystems, and formed the modern way of life for us all. Ancient, everlasting; it has always been there with all its majesty. Nature, in its own hidden way, taught me about appreciation – for other people, towards the environment, but also for oneself. That sense of self-accomplishment that is evoked when at last you’ve reached the mountain top is unattainable really anyway else. That breath of air as the wind passes gently through your hair; one intake is so revitalizing. That bond that we shared as a family during those trips — our inside jokes and races to the top of the next hill– formed an attitude and love for nature, which eventually, though with a struggle, was passed on to me. Now I hope one day to pass on the appreciation that I have found for its beauty and simplicity to those younger than I.

From going on six with stubborn determination to go home after one breath of mountain air to not-so-far-from college bound and seeking a major in Sustainability, I’ve grown, just like the trees which I see every morning in the meek light and through the shadows of the dusk.

I believe in the preservation of nature.