This I Believe

Rachel - Murray, Kentucky
Entered on January 29, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

The soft flicker of a kerosene lantern glows throughout my bedroom, casting peculiar shadows on my bare walls. Total stillness surrounds me, without even the hum of a heater that worked just two days prior. Cozily bundled in three layers of clothing, multiple ear warmers, fleece gloves, and wool socks. This is Winter Storm 2009.

Storm? Yes, that is what they are saying on my freshly dusted transistor radio. This is a storm? I have not felt this kind of subdued peace in years. Storm? A storm was a month ago preparing for a grueling week of finals. A storm was a year ago at the end of a three year relationship. A storm was four years ago living on my own for the first time in Orlando, Florida. No, this is not a storm.

As my finger tips grace the ice cold keys of my laptop, I realize that this “storm” is actually a blessing in disguise. No internet, no cell phone service, no television, no transportation. Nothing, but peace.

This minutely brief moment of my life has revealed to me exactly what is important. It has reminded me what true peace feels like, without the constant bombardment of noise and to-do lists. I had forgotten what it felt like to simply live. To stare at the golden glimmer reflecting from my door and just let my mind drift. No rush, no distraction, no guilt. All I can do is exist.

In the high-tech, chaotic world that we live today, we rarely ever allow ourselves to stop for just a second and truly feel how precious life is. But, this is what is really important. In this life we are always going to have mountains to climb, hurdles to jump, and rivers to swim. Before we know it, we will have climbed all our mountains, jumped all our hurdles, and swam all our rivers. There will come a moment when all the tasks on our infinite to-do lists have been completed. What a gloomy thought that we might have gone through this life without embracing life just for what it is – life.