Transcendentalism This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

July 8, 2010
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
As I press my eyes together to keep the sunlight at bay, I can feel the forest all around, the firm ground pressing against the contours of my back, the pliable dirt beneath my fingers. I ­listen to the trees breathe and marvel as the very essence of nature soaks into my skin. Sometimes it's difficult to accept that a place like this exists. Sighing, I allow my mind to wander. Then I feel a gentle kick at my hip.

I groan. Opening my eyes, I squint through the sunlight to see the profile of a gangly teenage boy.

“What are you doing?” he asks.

Closing my eyes again, I smile. “I'm imagining what it must have been like to be a transcendentalist.”

He paused. “Really? Because it looks like you're lying in the middle of my driveway.”

I open my eyes again and sit up. “Well. You have a nice driveway.” I motion at the scenery around us. “And besides, your mother hates me. I was afraid to ask if I could come in.”

He rolls his eyes, pushing his unruly brown hair out of his face. “She doesn't hate you. She just, uh, isn't … used to you.”

I raise an eyebrow.

Sighing, he sits down beside me. “Okay, so maybe she has welcoming issues.”

I eye him for a moment before grabbing his hand and lying back down, trying to return to my former peaceful state.

“So I suppose this means we're not going anywhere,” he asks, an awkward smile on his face.

I shake my head. “Nope. You ruined my concentration. We're not going anywhere until I can meet up with Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

He laughs, lying down beside me. “Then I have a feeling we'll be here for a while. I might as well get comfortable.”

I shove him playfully. “Hey, don't underestimate my ability to time travel. It may come in handy some day.”

“Sure, sure.” I hear him snicker.

“Okay, fine. But one day, when you come to me begging to meet up with Alfred Hitchcock or something, you can forget it.”

I turn my head to find him staring at me, all traces of humor gone from his face. My smile fades as my heart picks up. He lightly squeezes my hand.

“I hope I'm not interrupting your ­concentration.”

I shake my head. “No.”

And I realize that this is my version of transcendentalism. We may not be revolutionizing the way people approach literature, or even life in general, and we certainly aren't striving for a feeling of higher purpose. He is my purpose. I am him … he is me. We are the breath of the trees and the pliable dirt beneath our fingers. We're all that ever was or ever will be. We're everything that we need. And as I look into his eyes – really look – I know that nothing will ever change that.

He smiles. “Have you met them yet?”

Biting my lip, I nod. “Yeah.”


I smile. “And they've got nothing on you.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 16 comments. Post your own now!

Aaliyah02 said...
Apr. 4, 2016 at 4:34 pm
very nice work! keep it up!
TabithaLThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 21, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Omg the ending is so amazing :) it made me get tears in my eyes...
RationalIdealist said...
Apr. 12, 2015 at 5:47 pm
The beginning made me laugh, the ending made me cry. I love the chemistry between these two characters and would love to see more of them. And I love the shout-out to transcendentalism!
Ultim@te said...
Nov. 1, 2012 at 6:18 pm
aw how cute is this! love the ending
wishingtheskywasbluer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm
oh my gosh . . . wow!!!!!
Art-Writing44 said...
Jan. 16, 2012 at 9:00 am
This was so so cute :) I really love the ending how shes lkike 'They have nothing on you." AHH! SO cute! Could you possible take a look at my writing? I am a sucker for ramance also :)
Kat4ever333 said...
Dec. 20, 2011 at 2:13 pm
AHHHH! I'm going to cry! it was soooo amazing its like...... really good. i wish i could write like this. you make my stories look like a first grader wrote them!
whateverjuliet said...
Dec. 12, 2011 at 5:56 pm
it's amazing, beautiful, no words!
Dragonfly_Girl said...
Nov. 18, 2011 at 6:27 pm
This is beautiful! I thought no one thought about things like this but me! I identify with it so much!
booklover104 said...
Jun. 11, 2011 at 1:33 am
wow...this is really interesting! I like how you made the story on transcendentalism! ;)
mads942 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 29, 2011 at 7:09 pm
i like want to meet these people. good job!
TayrlS said...
Apr. 11, 2011 at 3:58 am
love it! wanted the story to keep on going!
A.C.Worsham said...
Mar. 7, 2011 at 8:56 am
This was very good. I just wish there was more!
lena.ivette said...
Feb. 2, 2011 at 1:14 pm
oh wow! this was really good :) i love the way you phrased everything! absolutly beautiful
EyesWideShut This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 4, 2011 at 11:13 am
I love your style. It's so random yet related. Well done. :)
ToshiroMarie said...
Feb. 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm
I was depressed when the story ended. Wish I could read more of this story. Hope there is more where this came from! 
Site Feedback