Today, I shall walk to school, I think to myself, as I put my food onto our welcome mat. I slowly walk down the stone steps of my house, not really like beginning another day of school work. I look up, and the tree stands in front of me, the tree with its branches reaching toward the heavens while its limbs hold up the clouds. I turn and stride along the sidewalk. Light fog lingers around me, with its tiny droplets of moisture clinging to my hair. I can see through the fog, but thicker fog hides the end of the street, where I know the yellow tulips grow, vibrant and full of life, next to the pavement.
I keep walking, my footprints trailing behind me after a step in a shallow pool. The thick fog at the end of the street starts retreating, slowly revealing what it had hidden before. I now see the beautiful tulips and the meadow next to it, the meadow with its big trees holding up bunches of green leaves above the fresh, dew-covered grass. I continue walking, knowing that if I linger too long, I'll be late for school.
After a while, the fog lifts, and suddenly the brilliant sun breaks out from behind a cloud, shining its rays on its beloved earth. I look around, and it seems as if a huge paintbrush had painted a layer of happiness over the gloomy landscape that was just before. The dew on the grass sparkles like a million small pieces of diamonds, and the frost on the rooftops looks like a glittering blanket of new fallen snow.
I see a small ladybug crawl out from under the dripping leaves of a scarlet rose, waving its antennae, ready to explore this new world. All of this nature brightens my spirits, and I find myself smiling, ready for a new day. How wonderful it is to walk to school and spend some time with nature—to notice it and to appreciate it.
Molly Zhou is a sixth-grade student at Meadow School in Petaluma. This is her winning entry in the Safe Routes to School essay contest.
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