Nuggets of Wisdom

Nuggets of Wisdom
My family and I often take vacations during the summer for relaxation, or to visit family, etcetera. On one such vacation, I learned a valuable lesson. Parents were created to teach their children little nuggets of common sense, but it is up to the children to listen.

We were visiting the Central American country of Honduras. It was a bright, sunny, and hot summer day. Taking a break from sight seeing, and the heat, we took refuge in a tropical style restaurant for lunch. It was a two-story restaurant over the ocean. Along the walls, there were beautiful green foliage that plump, colorful flowers sprung from. Also, throughout the restaurant were wooden poles, painted blue, that hammocks were hung on.

The waiter escorted my family and I to our table on the second floor. My parents sat at the table, but I chose a nearby hammock. The hammock was next to the open side of the restaurant. As I lay there, I began to study the ocean. I looked down and watched as the waves rippled, broke, and crashed to the shore. A salt-water smell permeated through the restaurant. A nearby fan oscillated back and forth, blowing a refreshing breeze across my face. All these elements caused me to relax, and slowly I began to sway in the hammock.

Soon after I got in that comfortable position, the waiter delivered the meal. My parents had ordered fish, and had begun nibbling. Since I was not hungry, I only ordered a drink, which I took back to the hammock to sip on. I began to sway, more vigorously than before, and I closed my eyes to enjoy the sounds. My father looked up from his meal and watched as I swung back and forth. He raised an eyebrow, and with a glint of humorous, wisdom in his eyes my father said, David, that hammock is loose. Rock too hard, and you will go flying. Of course, I paid him no attention. I was thirteen years old, and thirteen year olds know everything.

Acting as a typical teenager, I began to swing once more despite my fathers warning. My head was in the clouds, as I watched the waves, and the birds. How could something go wrong when everything was so perfect? I did not notice the creaking noise the rope made as its knot came lose. Nor did I realize what was happening when my drink hit the floor causing the glass to break with a deafening sound. It seemed like a dream as I dropped off the side of the restaurant, and headed to the water below. Pure shock came over me as the water stung my skin. Totally submerged, and craving air, I struggled to swim to the surface. Relief came over me as I rose to the surface and breathed in the warm ocean air. The sun hit my face, the sting went away, and all my limbs were in tact.
I was just about to swim back to shore when I heard my parents shouting down at me from the edge of the restaurant. When I assured them everything was okay, they were relieved, and then they started laughing at me. My father chuckled and said, Told you, boy. When are you going to get some common sense? I shook my head, brushing my father off, and began to swim back to shore. As I waded through the water to the sandy beach, I began to realize that my tennis shoes were soggy, my clothes were wet, and my father was right. Perhaps, if I had listened to him, taken his little nugget of wisdom and applied it, I would not feel like such a fool.


Philip Levine

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