Every day, I would arise to see the same comforting opalescent white walls of the humble sanction that I call my room. Following this, I would slide the window adjacent to my bed to allow for some quick air, and then hurriedly prepare for the school day. 

That was then.

Now that I, as well as countless students across the nation have transitioned to an online school format, staying inside for the entire day has become the new norm.

Personally, I have been staying in the same, yet familiar room every day. I did not believe it was possible to grow more accustomed to these white walls than I already thought I had. As always, I continued to slide open the glass window in the mornings to allow for some air, however at one point during this time this changed for me. 

I began to linger a moment longer, each time seemingly longer than the last, basking in the soft chilled air of the morning. 

Gazing past the fluttering leaves of the maverick tree next to me were the transparent clouds of the dawn sky. I gripped the edge of the balcony with ginger as I slowly inhaled the crisp, fresh air allowing it to flow throughout my chest. Closing my eyes, I am able to hear the soft gust swaying the trees’ leaves along with the flying birds’ twittering, keeping afloat on the same wind amongst the clouds. Basking in pure light, I am able to see the blooming white flowers that decorate nature’s trees and bushes on the hillside in front of me, fully ready to emerge before I step back and return to my small sanctuary for the day.

Hours pass by and the sun readies itself to leave. I decided to step out onto the balcony once more during the evening. As I gazed out to my environment once more, the pink-blushed sky seems to have also painted its clouds a similar scarlet. Just like the day’s dawn, the air was cool and maintained a slight hint of wind. The birds’ twittering is replaced by the crickets singing, the soft shrill bouncing in the air. The dainty flowers across from me on the hillside continue to sway side to side ever so gently as if they were waving good night. I took a deep breath once more, and a feeling of relief flooded through me as I felt pent-up stress streamline away from me slowly. 

 After a month of being confined inside, I realized I had taken the much-needed breeze for granted. It seems that I had simply forgotten the gratitude I had for it as I continued to stay in and neglect it more every day.

From tranquil dawn to quiet dusk, I have since then taken up the habit of pausing my life to step out onto the balcony for some select minutes to simply breathe. This invigorating and therapeutic feeling of crisp, pure air that graces me is a gift from the world that I give thanks to during this time. 


-Evelyn, California

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