STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Nature: My Muse and Medium

Joined: 6/10/2012
Posts: 4
There is a peaceful silence to the desert: the empty terrain, bereft of trees and cut up by mountain ranges and washes, speaks its own noiseless language of winds and voids. Sagebrush rattles like a winding sentence. Here and there, commas and caesuras of animal chatter punctuate the flow of the air. A hawk cries out like a rogue fragment. Growing up here as a kid, in the great and mysterious Mojave, I learned to read the words of the desert; I grew accustomed to its dialects of silence. It is only now, as I sit and reflect on just how much time I spent outdoors, that I realize the profound and lasting impact my forays into the wild have had on me.
My father and I would go on hikes, and I'd complain of the dead and grotesque surroundings—no overwhelming forests of green, no lush gardens, no deer or fish or wildlife, none of the countless things I'd been promised were “nature” by Disney movies or the Web. My father would always frown a bit and tell me that I wasn't looking hard enough. When we as a family all climbed into the truck and headed out to the mountains in search of fossils, I always strained myself searching for what my parents saw in the desert. They are rock-hounds to this day, desert lovers and dinosaur hunters. My sister, indifferent and unimpressed, attempted to persuade me that it was a sham and that the desert was really nothing special. I believed nothing totally: when we found neat rocks or the occasional fossil, I was floored; the remainder of the trips, I was bored out of my mind. As I grew older and more seasoned, my ear grew finer tuned. In school, I learned new things about geology, biology, and poetry; in the desert, I saw each play out: slowly, the history of these rocks—these grey-and-brown, cactus dotted mountains; the gravel beneath my feet—revealed itself as a form of art, the natural movements of the land over time acting out the stories of the earth.
Now, as I think about where I'd like to go for college and what I'd like to do with my life, I realize just how much this desert language has flavored my own thoughts. I like to fancy myself an artist of sorts—the word being my paint, the pen my brush—and, for a time, I worried I wouldn't be able to make it as a writer, that I didn't have the talent, the drive, and the experience to create something that anyone would find beautiful. In those moments of indecision and despair, I'd go out to the desert and take some time for myself. I'd listen to the silent song of the mesquite trees; the whistle of wind between rocks. I'd go out and listen to the stories it had to tell. Then I'd take out my pen and write them down, the desert's language my own.
Rate this:
Comment by ogeewiz

Joined: 2/25/2009
Posts: 43
You've learned a secret that few ever do: the wonder of silence and the places that provide it... Keep writing - It is an art.
Posted: Saturday, July 14, 2012 12:06:52 AM
Rate this:
Comment by SOFLarchive

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 111
What a beautiful essay. Good job in describing your nature experience and the characteristics of a desert. Congratulations on winning. I hope you have a good future in writing or whatever you're gonna do.
Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2012 6:09:39 AM
Rate this:
Comment by bugcandy

Joined: 11/5/2008
Posts: 288

Congratulations - your essay is the winner of our June student writing contest!

I'll be sending you an email with next steps about us mailing out your prize package, which includes a signed copy of Mr. Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods.

We look forward to reading more of your essays here on Stage of Life.

Look for a note from me soon.

Eric Thiegs
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 1:09:11 PM
Rate this:
Comment by Dev

Joined: 8/10/2012
Posts: 3
It truly made me smile to read this. Your an incredible writer...and you seem to understand a few things that most people don't. Including me. Thank you for teaching me some lessons i needed to learn.
Posted: Friday, August 10, 2012 10:22:02 PM
Rate this:
Comment by WildSchatz

Joined: 8/28/2012
Posts: 1
I stumbled onto this page in search of something else, and I just had to register to let you know that I found your story to be wonderful and moving. Truly deserving of any accolades awarded thus far. Continue painting your words with that pen and create more of this beautiful art.
Posted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 4:33:58 AM
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for high school students that allows teens the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Check out our national Teen Trend Reports, and make sure to explore the writing contests for high school students, inspirational videos for teens, statistics about students, quotes about high school, and other resources about High School here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Language Arts Teaching Resources.

Writing Contest Archive - Students

Writing Contests and Teen Trend Reports Student Writing Contests

Below you will find all of the monthly writing contests and teen trend reports from the last five years hosted by  Our dedication to digital literacy efforts have reached over 1,000,000 students and teachers in the last half decade, received mention on, and features in the news.  Feel free to click through and read the top essay submissions from any given month. is honored to be one of the most-visited writing contests for students in the world.  We love working with you as we celebrate the journey as life-long readers and writers...

2015 Writing Contests

2014 Writing Contests

 2013 Writing Contests

2012 Writing Contests

2011 Writing Contests

 2010 Writing Contests

Stage of Life Mission Statement

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog is an education-based, grassroots, non-partisan, free blogging community with a mission support digital literacy by making the world a better place, one story, essay, and blog at a time.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes literacy resources, free lesson plans, writing prompts for Language Arts teachers, monthly writing contests for high school students (and older generations), student blogging initiatives, blog directories, and financial literacy tools - including Life Rewards® - our free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy