2015-2016 Live Deliberately Visual Essay Contest
Tyler Thomas, 18
Winner, Combined Age Group
At eighteen, I am starting to see the world differently. There are new responsibilities, most of which require me to act as an adult, making decisions that will affect my future. Deadlines and daily demands often rap at my door, reminding me that it is time to put my childhood away like the boxes of stored wooden blocks and painted pictures Mom has stored high on the shelf in her closet. Most of the time, I wear this rite of passage much like a badge of honor pinned on a soldier’s uniform, my head held high and proud to say I have come this far. However, on occasion, when an opportunity presents itself, I lose myself again back to my boyhood, seeing the world differently, a magical place where I can make a simple box my race car or a blanket my parachute.
Entering the woods transforms me completely, almost as though I return entirely to eight or nine years old. Sticks become swords. Trees become fortresses. Creeks become roadways. In the winter, all I see is Narnia. In summer, everything is more like a war zone. My imagination runs wild with the adventure and exploration that surrounds me as I blaze new trails and find hidden treasures.
To come across a hidden structure, though, is absolute bliss. An abandoned abode to a child is like gold to a leprechaun or like finding a winning lottery ticket. Jackpot! Yes, age brings new perspectives, but with any luck, I will never see just an old, worn down shed.