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The Beauty of Noon This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Littleton, CO
When I first set out to write a two paragraph essay for a school project, I thought I would write about my grandmother's death. I was very young when she died, and didn't know how I was supposed to react to the death of a family member, especially one I didn't know very well. But as I thought about that experience, that inability to cope with my feelings, I began to think about a different, slightly more abstract experience of mine. When I was young, I was extremely depressed. While I'm sure some of this was due to real reasons, most of it seemed reasonless. I was later diagnosed with clinical depression and properly medicated, but before then nobody else around me could understand why I was so miserable. My parents in particular were confused by my emotions and were always trying to find ways to get me to stop pouting. Most of these things involved me going outside, something I didn't do a lot of. Though even I couldn't have understood it well enough to explain to them at the time, part of my reason for not wanting to go outside was the sunrise and sunset. I hated to be outside when the sun was rising or setting; in fact, I really hated to go outside if the sun wasn't in the middle of the sky. I found the color of the sky, the streaks of light in the clouds, and just about everything else extremely depressing. Only when the sun was high in the sky would I be comfortable outside.

Over time, however, what originally seemed like a strange and inexplicable sadness has begun to make sense. Thinking about it now, when I can see a sunrise or sunset without wanting to simply curl up and disappear, I think I understand my feelings better. Even today, I find myself constantly surprised and upset by how quickly time passes; relative to when I was younger, time now feels like it is moving at incredible speed. But even when I was younger, and weeks felt like centuries, I think I feared the passing of time; I had begun to understand that with the passing of time comes death, and decay, and even more frightening, change. As much as I wanted to stop time, the rising and setting of the sun was unstoppable, a constant reminder that time continued to pass, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. The purple and orange hues painted across the sky were a constant sign that the current day would end, and another would begin, and nothing would stay the same. But, for a short time in the middle of every day, the sun was high in the sky, seeming almost perfectly balanced, with no sign of what it would do next; and for that short time, every day, I felt like I could freeze time and everything would be perfect.




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