The brown, green and yellow world slowly recedes into its winter state. Many plants are dying and in some ways it’s tragic. In others, it’s beautiful. The woods seem deserted. Even the soft, green beds of moss that line the ground are ready to go away. Suddenly, a dozen little birds fly through the forest. They land on some of the brush below to take a look before flying somewhere else. Brown birds, flying short distances from branch to branch like acrobats leaping on bars. Their wings stretch out at a length longer than their small bodies. They soar in mesmerizing patterns. In the forest, they play around and make a ruckus.
No one can understand the little birds’ songs, well, no one tries to. In their world they are but young delicate creatures. They’re children who sit in a constant state of danger. Structures and methods exist just to silence their song and cut their dance short. Make them grow up too quickly but never allow them to become adults. Rules that tell them to stay quiet and raise their hands to speak. Rules that cut points off for sharing an opinion. The rules are made to make them conform to society. Which is fine. People should learn when to be quiet and when to speak. However, when it comes time to speak, sometimes they don’t know how. They’ve been silenced for too long by the people who want to make them stop.
The people who tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about when I add something to their conversations. The adults who tell me I’m too young to understand something so complicated yet they get angry when I bring up a statistic from a source. Those who get angrier when I fight back and tell them that I’ve read multiple sources about the issue they are discussing and have all of my facts straight. When I tell them that I’m not trying to argue, I’m just trying to discuss. But in their minds I can’t because I’m too young and weak.
So I should be silenced.
We’re outnumbered and young. Children are the first to be silenced in a conversation but we have the strongest voices if fed.
I always thought that turning eighteen would open up a magical door and suddenly I wouldn’t be a bird. I would be treated like an equal but when I made it to that point they moved the finish line. I was met with the excuse that I’m still too young and I don’t know what I’m talking about. That’s the problem now days. Adults wonder whatever happened to the self esteem of their youth. Why we don’t know how to operate in social situations. It’s because we were silenced too long and feel like we need to apologize when something is added. But it’s not solely the fault of the adults. It’s the faults of every adult who has existed. They forgot how it’s like to be a kid and they forget that they went through the same things as we are going through now. They forgot they were silenced too, so they raise the bar on us to make up for themselves.
The birds’ chirps tend to sound more like a “Chip”. Short and sweet. It’s the reason why people don’t like teenagers. Teenagers talk back with their quick with and sarcasm: short and sweet. It’s a way to fight back because after awhile it gets tiring to be silenced for so long.
There is a rustling of oak leaves in the distance from a large gust of wind. I can hear it pick up through the forest in the distance and the path it travels. Then I hear the sound of chirping birds trying to get their voice into the woods. A sound that could be drowned out with one voice but is stronger together. The birds realize they need each other to get their voices heard. That’s the only way children are heard. Talking together in protests and on social media. That’s why the adults detest such measures because those are the only methods available to children.
I watch once more as the birds perform their show and song in the sky. They seem to think I could join them. They try to make me a part of it by getting close. Then they leave and though I’m disappointed, I feel fine. Afterall, I’ve understood what they were trying to say and now they have others to persuade. As they recede into the distance their voices fade away until the forest is quiet again. Even the leaves stopped rustling to listen for more. They have nothing to drown out anymore. I listen to the silence for a while and get up. I walk through the crunching leaves on the rough path and watch as more add to the piles while I keep a lookout for my flock.