Homage to Family -
Color flying, sun shining bright, leaves falling. I didn’t have a care in the word, except the next paint ball that might hit me. I was running left, then right, trying to dodge all the paint. I can still feel the gun in my hand. The push from the CO2 pushing the ball out of the chamber towards its target. Paint rushing by my head, I duck behind a bunker. I was pinned down, so I shouted to my friend “I'm pinned! Help me out”. So he proudly stood up and fired off seven bullets. In those six seconds I had enough cover to stand up and sprint across the field firing blindly with my left hand (probably not hitting anything but scaring the opponents). I looked over and I was reminded of a picture that my sister once painted. It was a picture of an elephant standing on top of a ball, with colors shooting out of it. I felt kind of like that elephant, precariously perched with colors flying at me from all directions.
Soon after my daring escape we fired our last bullets and just like that, the game was over. We all got up from our hiding spots and went and shook hands. The animosity that was there only seconds ago was now completely gone and replaced with grins and smirks. No care over who won or lost, just a care over how much fun we had.
We looked around to see how many times we had been hit. I saw two blotches of red and orange on my pants and one other pink shot on my shoe. Then I saw it, the blotch of reds, pinks, and oranges that used to be my friend. He was covered from head to toe in color. He looked like a clown that was caught in the rain. We all laughed for a while and refilled our ammo and started again. The animosity soon returning.
When I think about these moments in my life, I think about my sister, and my family. I have a big family and my family is very important to me. I think about her because she is the one who painted the picture. When I think about her I feel pride. Pride in what she has done, and how she has handled everything. My sister now lives in Germany with her boyfriend. When she moved she was just 25. She moved over there with my oldest brother who was just 22 when he left to travel the world. Now he is 31 and she is 29. They are both very successful by themselves. One time we went to visit them, and I felt like a fish out of water. It was very difficult to fit in. Not many people knew English, to this day I have no idea how my sister and my brother lived through it.
One time my brother and I went to the bakery to get pastries for the family and we had to order in German. We sat there thinking about what to say to the person. Using our collective knowledge of the German language we said “fear chocolate pastries”. The women behind the counter winced at our butchering of her language, then she laughed. She said in the most southern accent that I could have imagined “Do y’all want 4 chocolate pastries?” My brother and I said yes ma’am and paid for the pastries and left. That whole time I was thinking, that this would only happen if I was with my family. If I had been with my friends, everything would have gone off without a hitch.
I believe that through everything, your family is the most important thing in the whole world. This is because if you don’t have family then you will be lost. Its what keeps you on track and keeps you out of danger. Even through the craziness and yelling at each other, I love my family till the bitter end, and I would do anything for them.
Later that night, after shooting almost 4000 paint balls we collapsed in front of the camp fire. Something about watching a camp fire is hypnotizing. The way it sways and moves like nothing else on earth. It’s motions are so fluid that it is almost like a liquid. It just makes you want to stop everything that you are doing and look at it. Even though we were tired, and ache from a day packed with crazy amounts of paintball we still needed light to fight off the quickly darkening hill that we were on. This meant that someone needed to accomplish the incredible daunting task of getting firewood. If you have never done this in the dark, it is very problematic. This is because we had no other form of light that we could take with us, so that we could go and get the wood for the fire. So we did what every young teenager has wanted to do, we made a torch.
First we got a paint roller and stuck it on top of large stick. Then we wrapped the paint roller in string so that it would burn. After that it was the moment of truth. Would it light and stay on fire, or would it crash and burn? Miraculously, when we lit it, it stayed on fire.
Then we left the already dwindling camp fire, with the torch in hand. If you ever thought that a torch would be a good idea, it is not. As soon as we got out of sight of the fire, the torch melted something started dripping onto our hands. Then of course they all went out. With light the forest can be gorgeous, but when the lights go out you see the underbelly of the forest. You see how malicious and scary it can be. We couldn't see a single thing. It was as if someone had blind folded us and left us there. It is a freaky feeling not being able to see what is around you. The only way we were able to get back to the camp fire was by using our phones as flashlights
When we got back to the camp fire, our parents inquired to where we had been gone for so long. We answered truthfully, we said that we had no clue. Then we told them all about how the torch that we had made had gone out and that we had been stranded. Our parents reply to this was, “Where is the fire wood?”
We just laughed and went to pitch the tent for us to sleep in. We spent a good 2 hours trying to get the tent to stand on its own, but to no avail. So we did the next logical thing, we slept in the car. This works sometimes during the summer and when the weather is nice. Unfortunately for us with was 30 degrees, needless to say we didn’t get much sleep.
That night I realized that my friends and family are crucial to my life and that if I didn’t have them I would have nothing. I believe this because your rely on them through the bad, and you help them up when they are down. To this day, I still believe that if you have no money, no home, if you have you friends and family, you can get through it.