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

   In my short existence I have come to realize many things. One is that there are many different types of people in the world. There are those who merely exist and then there are those who live. There are those who create and those who just know. There are those who feel and those who simply react. There are those who speak and those who say. There are those who hear and those who listen ....

The whole world talks. Everyone everywhere, but how many of them say things that matter? If you listen really closely, the entire earth can speak to you, I mean the trees, the rivers, the oceans and the animals. There are whale songs, they sing ... but do you know what they're saying? Does anybody? I believe that everyone is connected through their hearts, but does everybody have a heart? When you go to sleep at night, do the stars talk to you the way they do me? I believe that everybody has the potential to live ... to create. When you cry, how do your tears feel? Do they feel like mine? Mine are cold, and sometimes hot. Some people don't answer these questions because they are too caught up in life to live. There are higher purposes in life than we realize. It's a lot simpler than we may think. It seems to me that when whales sing and birds chirp and the wind whispers, they are trying to tell us. When people create, that captures a small bit of what's real.

I once climbed a mountain. No big deal, right? It was for me. I was finally starting to live. I guess I got a little too caught up in how tired I was. But when I reached the top I felt life. I heard a little bit of what the rain and the whales were trying to say. The day after I climbed my mountain, I went back to life as usual, but I kept a part of the mountain with me.

And when I was younger, I used to go out in my friend's backyard. Way back there behind the woods there were big sand pits and little ponds where we used to swim. I remember that we used to love to go out there. I know now why I liked it so much. I liked it because it was empty and quiet and if you really listened, you could hear the wind whisper to the sand dunes. Lately I will go to my door for no reason and open it. I get this feeling all through me. I can't quite place it, but the feeling is so strong. I always want to run outside and ask what it wants, but I don't. I just close the door and go back to my homework, or whatever. Does anybody else hear these things? Or do you listen? Do you create? Do you feel? Do you speak? Do you really live or do you just exist?

Next time you're outside or you catch a moment, stop ... look around ... feel what they're telling you. Take a walk by yourself and just listen to the wind, the trees, the ocean, the clouds, the stars, the birds or the whales. Then think to yourself , isn't it worth saving? How will you ever know what they're saying if you can't listen because it's been destroyed? Nature is a gift that we must protect and cherish. It knows all the secrets of creation and life. It is the most generous thing in the universe because every day it tells us its most beautiful secrets. So please LISTEN. If you listen, you will start to live rather than to exist. People have the power to destroy, but we also have the power to protect. n

"Oh, mother, father, your blindness to our most beautiful gift, NATURE, leaves us with the overwhelming task of correcting your utter mess. It also proves that you are not judge or art or beauty ..."

- Jane's Addiction

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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