"Along the way, I lost my innocence."
We’re going to Bay Area Park. On the way out, I pet my cat Jake then pile into the car. We’re on our way. As we start the long drive down Red Bluff Road, I listen to the tires hit the uneven slats in the concrete.
We reach the park and slowly drive down to the water. The park touches the banks of Armand Bayou. Once stopped, I quickly get out of the car. I run toward the boardwalk that rests over the bayou. Before entering, I look back to my parents who are standing by the car. They both wave me on. With exhilaration and a smile, I run across the old wood planks until I reach the end.
The railing is covered with the names of those before me; those who crossed this very path. While standing firm, I lean against the rail and look out over the still, muddy water. There is a light breeze with birds flying about. I look to the shore, watching the gentle sway of the trees. And I hear music. Maybe it’s the sound of nature or angels above. I’m not sure. But the music moves me and I feel at peace.
After many years, I am back in college. As with most students, I am stressed. There are deadlines to meet and grades to make. Life is different now. With the importance of school and family, my focus has changed. I have responsibility. Many times, I fail to meet expectations and just go through the motions – it wears on me.
Along the way, I lost my innocence.
I close my eyes and go back. Back to the old, splintered boardwalk. I’m a kid again. I feel quiet and peaceful. And the music plays.