March 14, 2013
By 14katieg BRONZE, San Jose, California
14katieg BRONZE, San Jose, California
1 article 3 photos 0 comments

To be, and the essence of it all — what a thought.

Standing, eyes closed, under the embrace of the daylight rays, shifting my toes around the warm blanket of speckled grains of sand.
The wind on my shoulders tossed the strands of playful, salt-streaked hair across my lids. The roar of the crashing waves, the squalls of the seagulls, and the hushed voices of the surrounding beachgoers, as muffled as morning voices over my pillow-shut ears on lazy Sunday mornings colored in my surroundings with noise. And they said heaven is a place on earth? I beg to differ; it most certainly is a place where salt and sand mix and separate like dressings, where the hues of the sea and the breeze of the wind chase twirl each other in the most fantastical dance, and where I could stay, forever. I dared not open my eyes, as I felt as if to see were to break this beautiful instant, and shatter it into the granules as speckled as the sands below me. At that moment, I felt that this heaven was truly where I was meant to be.

Breathing in the soft, cooling breeze infused with droplets of water from the overhead waterfall, inhaling the sweet scent of pine and spruce.
I was resting underneath a tree’s cool shade on top of the Rockies. There, my musical soundtrack was composed of the delicate chirps of birds, occasional chutters of the yellow pine chipmunks, the swooshes of the centenarian pine trees, and the rush of the torrents of churned water. Below me ran a canyon so vast that the very attempt to fathom its depths seems entirely convoluted and abstruse. Millennia of vigorous torrents of water had run their course, shaping the surrounding crags into delicate stratums, and exposing the layers of different-hued rocks that composed the walls. The air was calm and still, and I could help but feel completely at ease, almost in an ephemeral balance with everything around me. That ambience of equanimity and peace felt like what it was like to be.

Trekking through the passages of American literature, thoughts and philosophies of past authors whirling around my head.
Although only composed of three letters, this word has served as the foundation for all of man’s curiosity, imagination, and ambitions. The most momentous, yet compact single word I had ever encountered in my petty existence. The “why”, the true purpose of “to be”, found its way through the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“I have found that the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

And so, as I follow along the path of those past and carve out another fresh trail on my own, I continue to stumble upon old and new traces of “to be”. The essence is endless.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!