Hard-Boiled Egg This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Last night I lay in bed listening to the crickets outside the screen door. They chirped in unison, like one giant cricket hidden somewhere in the reeds. It occurred to me that they have achieved a perfection we humans have never attained. We sing – each in a different key. We interrupt each other – our voices interject our own views and opinions. Despite our attempts to achieve harmony with inventions like metronomes, pitch pipes, and so forth, we fail.

Unlike crickets, humans have grown apart, our natural instincts completely forgotten. We often label this condition uniqueness, a pretty word for a sad thing. We are so intent on individuality that we neglect to maintain and nurture relationships with one another. If everyone continues to grow apart, forgetting their connections to the world and each other, could this become a thing to fear?

This problem has, I believe, arisen from our immediate environment. Experiments have been conducted with eggs. Put an egg in front of a speaker at a heavy metal concert and, within five minutes, it will be hard-boiled. But a concert is not a natural environment for an egg. Brought up naturally, the egg becomes a bird – the course nature intended for it. In front of the blasting speaker, its innards coagulate and the egg never reaches its potential.

We humans are like the egg at the concert. We are no longer in our natural environments. We’re displaced, subject to the roar of machinery and all things unnatural. We turn out adequately, but only according to the standards of living among the industrial whirs, clicks, and bangs. Where an egg would be hard-boiled, we manage to survive.

But imagine if we too were born as nature intended, raised in our natural habitat amidst the songs of crickets and birds. If an egg raised in its natural environment can become something that can make music and fly, imagine the possibilities for humans, away from sounds that curdle our insides, both mind and body. We would fall back into the rhythm of the world and thrive in tune with our surroundings.

I decided, as I lay there listening, that this is the way the world should sound. You see, my world is not limited to school, family, or community, but encompasses nature and its many facets. This was the world that I grew up in, and it is rapidly changing. By no means do I suggest that we regress to a less civilized period – just that we become more aware of the impact our innovations have on the world and each other. If we can find a way to decrease the roar of machinery in our lives, we may hear the voices of our fellow humans more clearly. Perhaps, by reducing distractions from the artificial elements in our lives, we could focus on our relationship with the world around us.

As I thought about these things, I felt my heart begin to beat in unison with the chirping of the crickets. It beat to a rhythm so archaic that no one on earth today could recall a time without it. It made me feel as though I had a place in this world where so much is lost.

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

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