This archived article was written by: Angela Oliver
Life is amazing, don’t you think? Life has much to offer, but too often we take it for granted. I know I do, although should not. There is always so much to do in a day but when it comes to an end, have sat at home all day complaining of boredom. I should get out and enjoy the world, enjoy life and other’s lives. I think everyone should.
Have you ever read Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass? He is an amazing man. He only wrote one book in his life, yet he is one of the most respected, well-written author/poets ever to live. The reason I’m bringing up Whitman is because he did exactly what I want to do, and he wrote about it which makes him even more amazing than I’ll ever be. He got out, enjoyed life and embraced death, he saw the beauty in everything, because there IS beauty in everything.
Whitman wrote, “I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
“My respiration and inspiration, the beating of my heart, the passing of blood and air through my lungs, the sniff of green leaves and dry leaves, and of the shore and dark-color’d sea-rocks, and of hay in the barn, The sound of the belch’d words of my voice loos’d to the eddies of the wind, A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms. The play of shine and shade on the trees as the supple boughs wag, The delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hill-sides, The feeling of health, the full-noon trill, the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.”
Whitman’s gift for finding the beauty in things was beyond any seen. He shows that no person is better than any other. He shows that the little things in life are the ones that more often than not go unnoticed. If we only looked around we’d see what we’ve been missing, we’d appreciate life more. The wind, the way leaves are the perfect shade of green, the sound of crunching leaves beneath our feet, a hug, a peck on the lips, how good it feels when we are in good health and the sun through our window. The things we often overlook are the parts of life that should put a smile on our face and make us happy that we are alive. However, most people get too caught up in their lives; they can find more things to stress over and be unhappy about when little things could make their life amazing. Whitman rejoiced in life, he celebrated life and he celebrated death as well.
“The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, and if ever there was, it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, and ceas’d the moment life appear’d.”
“Has any one supposed it lucky to be born? I hasten to inform him or her it is just as lucky to die and I know it’s beautiful,” he wrote
The fact that he can embrace death as much as life is a gift. I also embrace death, because it is just as beautiful as birth. I am not scared of dying, but because of a different reason than Whitman. This doesn’t mean I want to die, not ready for that, but I’m unafraid. All death brings life. Without death nothing would live, nothing would grow and nothing would replenish. When I die, I will bring forth life. My body will nourish other’s growth, whether it be physically through the nutrients my body supplies for the earth, or emotionally through my loved ones. I look forward to the impact I can make on the Earth. I try to live my life in a way that if I were to die tomorrow I wouldn’t be ashamed of my life; I’d be proud of myself for accomplishing everything I possibly could in my 18 years.
Love life, embrace life and everything it brings, love the Earth. It has so much to offer us, yet we treat it like we have everything to offer it. We are ruining Earth, this beautiful gift that God has given us. Mother Earth has everything to offer us, yet we sit in our darkened rooms on our computers and we don’t get out and enjoy it. Smell the grass and feel the dirt, they’re things that I love because I love the Earth. I am not about to say that I am innocent, I have ruined the Earth too. I do every day by driving my car, but everything I take away, I try and give back as well. I don’t litter for one thing, used to, but then I didn’t appreciate everything that the Earth was. I plant trees, go hiking, feel the grass between my toes. I love the Earth because it loves me.
So here’s the point, everyone should appreciate life a little more. Write your roommates, spouse, child or any loved one a note telling them how much you appreciate them. Notice the way the sun shines through your window and turns your wall that perfect color of orange every morning. Enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass and enjoy life. Stop wasting away, and do something to make yourself and others a little happier. I can promise that if you do you’ll want to thank me later.
Leaves of Grass: The Deathbed Edition-Walt Whitman.