A radio program called This I Believe was started in 1951and aired on CBS Radio Network. It was a program which encouraged famous and everyday people to write about what they believed, and their essays would be read on the air. Madison’s teacher, Mrs. Kaplan, gave her students this same assignment. Mrs. Kaplan told me she has been teaching for 15 years, and this is one of the best essays she has ever read from her students. This proud Mom thought it was pretty special too. I asked Madison’s permission to share with you the essay she wrote, and she said agreed. And I know if she is outside, true to her essay, she will be up in a tree.
I Believe…by Madison
I believe that the earth is alive. I know it, and nothing could ever change my mind. I believe it with every ounce of my being, especially now, after we moved. It was revealed to us that two huge trees lay in our backyard, and they were perfect for climbing. Naturally, I chose the one that was the easiest to get up. I didn’t think that you could climb the other one, the huge tree with branches sprawling to the sky, overrun by green leaves. Then, I found a way. By some miracle I had finally gotten into the tree, and when I climb that tree now, I know the earth under my feet is living.
I know that the soil wants to feel my bare feet pad upon the grass, and the wind longs to fiddle with my hair. Often, I will climb that tree and find a spot to sit, and listen to the wind, the breath of the world, rustle through the leaves. But the little things that always take my breath away are the views. The mountains just barely show their beauty through the branches of the tree, showing pasty white snow paling in comparison to the vibrant green of towering pines. And sometimes, a cloud will uncover the sun and light will pour over the mountain, outlining its superiority.
It surprises me, in truth, to see that we live around this every second of the day and fail to even recognize the beauty of the earth. In fact, people today treat it as dirt. Soil and earth and grime that is put under us for only the purpose of trampling over it with heavy feet. We toss caution and litter into the wind. We are killing the earth, and do not plan to stop our ways anytime soon. That’s why the people of this world today need to see the world as a child would. Like I would, forty feet up a tree.
We need to stop our ways because we only get one earth, and only one lifetime to save it, and I can only hope that one day everyone will join together to save the earth that lives and breathes without our noticing. Because I know that the earth is alive.