The Driveway.

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A driveway is a place to park one’s car. It’s typically an ugly black slab of pavement that sits in front of a home merely by means of necessity. It’s the ugly duckling of the well kept suburban front yard, but to me it’s much more than that as it has taught me some of the greatest lessons in life.

The driveway though it does not usually offer aesthetic beauty, offers memories and lessons. Throughout the summers of my childhood, its black surface offered magic to me through the wonders of sidewalk chalk. With chalk of every color of the rainbow I would doodle, write my name over and over again and of course trace the outline of my brother’s body. Giggles were more abundant than the freckles on my sun-soaked skin. And as I watched the hose from our sprinkler drip water onto my drawings, the colors began to swirl together and produce an effortless beauty. Through these whirlpools of color, I learned the meaning of self expression and how significant it is in my life. I’ve acquired an almost addictive passion for fashion, a love for writing, and simply a greater sense of self confidence. More importantly, in watching each swirl of color form on the hot, black surface I’ve learned that beauty can exist in any aspect of life.

As summer retreats and the seasons change, the driveway no longer offers vibrant and picturesque images. Instead of looking out at a sea of color from the comfort of my bedroom window, I see nothing but the emptiness of the dark rectangular slab. On top of it sits one car, a lone minivan. There’s no sign of the truck that’s supposed to be parked next to it. Day after day with a hopeful glare I’d look for the truck to take its designated spot on the left side of the driveway; though day after day the spot would remain empty. Nevertheless, the minivan, my mother’s minivan, has stayed there solid and concrete, showing me who I can truly depend on.

Now I’ve inherited said minivan and it accompanies the new “family van” in the driveway and always will. When I put the car in park and pull the key out of the ignition, I look up and see the blue star that is situated over the garage door. The star, though quirky and faded, gives me a sense of recognition that everything in life holds a greater purpose than what we normally believe; even a driveway. It gives me solace that all the time I’ve devoted teaching fourth graders how to count in Spanish, every flashcard I’ve meticulously made and even every insect I’ve saved from the treacherous waters of my swimming pool all matter. The star, though not decorated in flashy lights, is an illumination in its own right as it adds character to the driveway and for me is a representation of what’s to come in life. While the driveway has offered me an understanding of myself and my family life, the star offers me hope for the future and light beyond the darkness of the asphalt.





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