When I Close My Eyes
- Youngmi

I have a place in my memory that comes up in my mind from time to time. When I feel anxious about my future or feel lonely, I always go back to my childhood, to those days when I did not have many things to worry about except doing some homework.

When I was a child, I used to visit my grandmother on almost every school holiday. My grandmother lives in a small and beautiful country town in South Korea. There is a small stream just next to my grandmother's house so that I could swim all day. Because I used to play just swimming and fishing all day outside everyday, I had got tanned, completely black, by the time came back home to Seoul to go back to school.

The most beautiful moment would come in the country town during the evening at sunset. The whole village would become very quiet after the kids had gone back home for dinner. I could feel the temperature getting cooler after the heat of the summer weather. But when I looked at the stream, I could still feel the heat from the weak steam coming out from the surface of it. When I looked closer, I could see tiny little fish jumping around here and there. When I closed my eyes at that moment, I could smell the smoke coming out from the chimney while grandma cooked dinner.

I sometimes close my eyes to go back to those days when everything was so peaceful and beautiful. I perhaps won't be able to feel exactly the same way I used to feel in the old days even if I go back to the same place now. Probably the place no longer exists as it was. It has been so many years since I have been there. At least one good thing is that I can always go back to the place in those days when I close my eyes.