Lindsay Burger - Grade 9, Centerville High School
One Golden Ray
When I woke up that hot July morning, I was caught off guard by the golden rays of sunshine beating down on my face, filling me with that signature warm, fuzzy feeling. I had been at the Tau House for four days now, each day finding something new to be grateful for. When you live in a house with twenty- nine other young and aspiring teenagers, you start to form a bond like no other. Today was the day I would go with four other good friends and help at a camp for underprivileged children. Today is the day, I decided I would bring light into at least one child’s life, just like the beautiful rays of sunshine did to me this morning.
I pulled up outside the church at approximately eight forty-five in the morning- after having been up since six fifteen- you can imagine we were all pretty tired. It was an old church, not in the best part of town. As I walked in, I noticed many somber expressions. The kids were sitting at the long rectangular tables, not one with a smile, proving this much harder than expected. I found myself confused as to why these kids could be so sad at such a young age. It was later brought to my attention that a majority of these kids either had scars from previous beatings, or complained of some sort of pain.
Not long after I had arrived, news got around that we would be going to the park. I took this as the perfect opportunity to try and cheer the kids up. They didn't seem to excited, that gave me more motivation to be as happy and positive as possible.
When we got to the park, a realization hit me. I was trying to be happy, it was coming off as forced, I was sure of it. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I was spending it with some of my favorite people. Why not just stop forcing happiness and just let it come naturally. For the next two hours, we swung, played in the sand, ran in the fountains, not giving a care in the world. This feeling of happiness was one of the purest feelings I may have ever felt. I was not the only one to notice this happiness, the kids had a drastic change in attitude as well. I went back to the Tau House that day feeling accomplished. I had exceeded my goal drastically.
That was the perfect way to end the mission trip. I never imagined that I could feel so happy at such a young age. I went home the next day feeling inspired. That perfect, sunny, July day changed my life forever. I look back on that day, and feel as if that golden ray of sunshine still shines on a special place in my heart, filling me with that warm, fuzzy feeling all over again.