::imaginative introspection::

Imagine that all life is an illusion. All that exists is this moment. No past, no future, each memory, every plan, a part of the illusion. Life, in a photograph.

Do you like the image of yourself?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

There is beauty in the world. I found it.

At thirteen I wasn’t very well traveled.  In fact, the farthest I’ve ever traveled from home is a couple hours’ drive away to a small town in Tennessee where my Aunt Evon lives.  My sister Krista and I spent a summer there and MAN did we have fun.  We went to Dollywood, the best place on Earth, and spent long, lazy afternoons at the local pool.  Krista and I were raised in the Catholic tradition, so when my Aunt took us to her small-town Baptist church we experienced a bit of culture shock- and came home promising not to fall into the mire and wondering what it meant to be saved. 

The most memorable experience that summer was a one day trip into the Smokey Mountains.  The drive up was fantastic and terrifying.  We took a ‘rustic’ one lane road up and around the mountain bends, praying that no one was trying to come down into the valley.  We stopped for lunch at a little picnic area, where we ate fried chicken and wandered around the woods for an hour or so.  After another short drive we parked the car and took a walk down a little mountain trail.  As I walked through the woods surrounded by such ancient trees, with all their wisdom, I felt incredibly small and young, they must have been as old as my Grandma Genevieve, at least. I realized then how important this place was, and vowed to myself that I would protect it.  The small stream running beside the trail had become a calmer, wider creek, and on that hot July day it was all my aunt could do to keep from laughing as Krista and I ran into the water, only to hurry back out wishing we had tested it first.  As we reached the end of the trail the trees parted and revealed an overlook.  It was there, watching the sun set as the mist settled on the mountains that I promised myself I would learn everything about this place, and hopefully discover other places just as fantastic and sacred. 

For the past four years I have studied biology, the study of life.  I have been exploring the environment around me since the moment I opened my eyes; I’ve learned about the ecosystem and animals in my own environment, and recently got to explore the eastern coast of Australia in a Marine Ecology study abroad program.  Australia is the biologist’s dream, a place isolated from the rest of the world in which a fantastic array of diversity has evolved.  I had a chance to study the ocean, the reefs and the island environments that were so incredibly foreign to me. 

While living and studying in a tropical environment certainly has its advantages, I missed my home environment, which I knew so well.   I will be graduating this May with my B.S. in Biology and minors in both physics and chemistry  My own curiosity and interest has gotten me this far, and I’m looking forward to beginning the next step, wherever it may lead. 


No comments:

Post a Comment