A year of silence


Kiera Kemppainen

The mountains I know will stay tall and snowy, no matter where my life goes.

This year, I’ve learned to love the silence, of both my brain and environment. I live in awe of its beauty. There is such peace in being able to sit and exist. Not every moment needs to be filled with noise and thoughts. Silence isn’t just the absence of noise; it’s the simplicity of mere existence.

It’s times like these I despise the beauty of silence. As hard as I try to think about what I can say to encapsulate my year, my mind remains blank. It doesn’t feel like it’s truly over. Yet here I am, days away from the last year of my life where I know what I’m walking into. 

I’d love to say I don’t feel ready for my senior year. I wish I was still hoping for an eternity with the comfortable monotony that I can call my life. I wish that I could sit in the soft weighted blanket here, but I fear it is too hot to stay. I am ready; I’ve been ready.

There will still be silence, and with silence, there will still be me. 

I’m ready to find a new silence. Not the silence as I sit in my fifth-hour independent study class, surrounded by a class full of students working on something exciting and different. Not the silence before school in the row I’ve parked in all year. Not the silence of my brain on environmental science tests. 

I need a change. Maybe I’ll find silence one row over in the mornings. Or during a different class and on different tests. I want the excitement that I see for the seniors every year. I’ve been waiting for my senior year since my brother was in his. Five years ago.

Every year is new, but usually, it’s very similar, just harder. And that’s been okay for me. The small change is good, and I expect the same for next year.

But behind all my excitement for the year to come, I am not ready to admit that this year is ending. Because that means my life will be uprooted in a year. 

The people around me will change, and the world around me will stay the same.

The flowers will remain. My rides home will still be coated by bright fuschia and lavender. Queen Anne’s Lace will still bloom into a wide expanse. Tiger Lilys will still be orange and speckled. Wildflowers will still bloom, no matter what. They’ll still stay silent, with the wind rushing between them.

The mountains will stay towering above the world. Their peaks will be full of snow. The coniferous trees will shine green in stark contrast with the world around them. Ears will still pop when climbing higher and higher. The silence will be all-encompassing.

There will still be silence, and with silence, there will still be me.