Posted: Friday, June 29, 2012 10:07:16 PM
A cascading glimmer of iridescent diamonds struck the pool of water, creating ripples in this secret treasure trove hidden among trees and stones. All of us stood at the rocky shore, tentatively placing our toes into the water, only to leap back at its frigid touch. I ran in without paying much heed to my classmates’ shrieks; I like the cold. My face soaked in the refreshing clear waters and my limbs shook with shock as the falls struck. Exhilaration coursed through my body and restlessness overtook me as I reached my shaking cold fingers to the rock wall. I started climbing the slippery rocks before leaping back down into the icy enticing waters.
It was my first waterfall.
Too often than not, teenagers blog, chat on Facebook, watch television, and stay cooped up behind doors and windows, oblivious to the world passing them by. They stay secluded and starved of the adventures they could have if they only walk past their doors.
Rather than that life, I explore the outside and thereby myselfWho else can I believe in but myself to reach the top of the tree, light a campfire using nothing but branches and moss, and recognize constellations to guide me home? If an ant can fight a creature three times its size without fear, what is to stop me from fighting for what I believe in? These tiny thoughts and details of courage and strength fill my head as I wonder at the world around me.
I like to create mini adventures outside. They aren’t anything like Skyrim quests—no slaying of dragons or crafting of magic swords. I explore and see what I can find and do. I have found sea glass and mysterious bug specimens. I’ve climbed a boulder and sat, two stories high, upon it. It’s not especially high up, but that view of the open sapphire sky through verdant leaves is imprinted upon me far better than any graphic effects. I have been given a chance to think about my future, to reminisce my mistakes and recognize they’re truly nothing, and to realize how even the simplest dandelion can be beautiful. Most importantly, I have discovered that I have the strength to pull myself over a rock cliff and the courage to leap into unknown waters and no one can take that way from me, because I am a living creation as much as a blade of grass or baby deer.
I find those who do not notice or experience such a wonderland deprived by their computers and televisions. Only outside, away from the suffocating cage of walls, can people discover their own bravery. They are given the opportunity to take risks and learn to be curious. They learn about themselves that computers can talk about but never teach.
As beautiful as the pictures of Croatian waterfalls can be online, my waterfall exists in my mind, instilling beauty and the memory of an adventure that cannot be destroyed. Take that, delete button.