Star Showers
Jen, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

No matter how much a few of us wanted to deny it, I knew that we were all having a pretty good time even when we said otherwise. Our tempers may have seemed just as frail as the rocks and ledges were thought to be, but neither was the case, considered it had been hours since any bickering occurred, with the exception of my brother jokingly attempting to “push me in,” and the rocks felt more sturdy under my feet than my mother was willing to believe.
 
We had all watched the sunset, magnificent streaks and blends of orange, red, pink, and even purple, over the canyon. Then, I was annoyed because we left our brother to the hotel room while we walked along the edge of the Grand Canyon. Of course he had been tired—we all were—and the time zone changes were starting to take a toll, but I did not think he should’ve stayed home to watch TV like we all knew he would while we walked without him. But much to my dismay, that’s how it happened.

It was a lot larger then I had imagined it could be, and it was not impossible to see how it was created by nature, but it was hard for me to fully realize that the Grand Canyon simply could not be replicated by mankind. Yet as we walked along the sides, staying well away from the edges to keep my mother content, I decided that I preferred natural “monuments” over the one created by our kind. No matter how hard we tried, whether we liked it or not, we could not compare to nature’s thousand year mistake.

When it felt like we had walked enough, we got down onto our knees and then transitioned onto our backs on the asphalt path bordering the sight we had seen so many times that day, and watched the sky—a bouquet of colorful fruit just hours before—to set our eyes on the dark and starry canvas with the purple tint where sky met stone. The distant stars were faint, but the moon was more than just distinguishable, and stood out like white paint against a charcoal canvas. That’s when we saw the first streak of light across the sky, and then another appeared about ten minutes later. Shooting stars, freshly painted streaks on an already beautiful painting, began to appear almost every ten to twenty minutes. Every time another would come into view, my sister and I would say, “Pshoooo.”

When we had returned to our hotel, around eleven o’clock at night, my brother, much to my annoyance, had complained that we had been gone too long and had had woken him up with our arrival home, although we knew that he had not slept, and had simply been watching TV the whole time we were gone. We tried to tell him about what we had witnessed, but it was too much of an amazing experience to replicate it seemed. We told him as much of the tales of falling stars over the gradient blue canyon as we could, but it was not nearly enough for him to fully realize how incredible it was. I felt rather smug, knowing he had wasted his time with TV while we had witnessed something wonderful. It was then that I realized how good relationships were formed: through a shared experience that can be linked to humor, knowledge, and especially beauty. 

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