It is atop the shingles above my garage, next to my bedroom window, under my twin oak tree where I frequent a perch, content on my roof. A place to think, to relax, to read, to escape: my roof is steady. Facing east, I can watch the sun rise over the city skyline; facing west, I witness the sun drop into the trees, taking with it, the colors of the sky. During the day I watch the trees sway to the rhythm of the wind. My eyes follow the squirrels as they jump from tree to tree, always leaving a trail of rustling leaves. I listen to the birds’ morning songs, and I listen to the crickets’ nightly melodies. I count the stars and trace the paths of planes. Come evening with the windows open, I listen to the sizzle of my mother cooking dinner simultaneously mingle with my father’s modulated tuning of the guitar. Looking up into the sky I feel small as I take in the expansive universe above me. Yet I feel content up high knowing I am a little closer the breathtaking world overhead.
On this roof my thoughts are extensive, wide-ranging and sweeping as the sky. I become an observer and absorb everything around me. Watching the cars roll by, oblivious, blind to their surroundings, I pity them. Then reality catches up, and I remember society and life and responsibility take precedence, and I accept the sad fact. At the same time however, I find it consequential to take the time every once in a while to stop. To absorb the world, appreciating its quirks and wonders.
I can think about everything at once and yet nothing at all on the roof. I can listen to everything and nothing. I can play Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here and Daughter’s Youth, or I can resort to nature’s sweet songs. I think about the idea of thinking, and I think about space and life and the immense size of everything. I self reflect and think about the different sides of myself. My contrasting moods and my various friends pass through my head, everything intermingling and linking in odd connections left from right, yet at the same time typifying the randomness of the world.
Lately, I have been thinking about my future and its endless possibilities along with my seemingly incapability to make any decisions. At 17 years old I do not know how I am supposed to select a place to spend my next four years and prepare myself for a career I am supposed to have for the rest of my life. I wonder how to choose between my love for both the city’s commotion and chaos and my love for the natural world and its silent beauty. In the end it comes down to diligence and hard work to create opportunities and possibilities. I need to carve my path and hope for happiness; I hope for the serene content I experience on the roof and make sure I stay true to my passions, as soon as I discover what such passions are. I will continue thinking and challenging my ideas and thoughts and keep improving myself.
I find that alone time on my roof where I can think is just as vital to my growth as the priceless moments and memories I create with my dearest friends and family. Thinking, breathing, living and being. This could happen anywhere, I suppose. It just so happens my roof is the perfect niche in the space I need.