River of Dreams

July 23, 2010
My bare feet padded down the dirt path, starting to slow down as the sound of rushing water pounds in my ears. The trees going past me slowed also as the path veered out of the woods. There it was, my destination, a river. I turned my head causing my red curls to flip about my shoulders, looking down stream. I felt my eyes widen at the sight of the white rapids, the water frothy and churning. Swiveling my skull, I gazed upstream. My eyes settled upon a bridge.
Once again my feet were in motion, carrying me toward this bridge. The bridge was white but the paint was gracefully departing from the aged wood. The bridge appeared similar to a dull rainbow, not colorful but bent over the water. Only one railing still stood, the other having rot years ago. I stepped on the bridge, trying not to step in the gaps where planks had rot away. I turned and clutched the remaining railing, looking down at the river and cringing as the bridge creaked under my weight. I shifted my weight onto another plank. SPLASH!!!
Water flooded into my nose and gaping mouth, I clawed at the water, finally surfacing. I spit out the water, tipping my head up to the water spurted out like it would come from a fountain. I laughed, thinking of porpoises. Then I looked up. The rapids! I frantically attempted to swim upstream, when that didn’t work I tried to get the riverbank or grab hold of something. But no, all attempts ended in failure. So just as I approached my doom, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. At first it seemed calm but as I began to anticipate the churning white rapids ahead, the tumbling began. I was jostled about, doing flips one moment and being slammed into a rock the next. Then it all went black, I couldn’t feel a thing. So I tried opening my eyes. I couldn’t believe it!
I was walking through an extravagant garden. I strolled past a tulip, alive with color, and I skipped past a vegetable garden, full of harvest. That’s when my eyes spied an apothecary’s rose bush. I walked up to it and bent to smell the enticing fragrance wafting from it but I was stopped by a prick of pain on my index finger. I bent my arm, bringing my injured finger into view. There it was a dot of blood. Before I could do anything about it everything started to spin and I went numb. I was underwater again, the rapids hammering me from all sides, never releasing me from their grip. But somehow, I managed to squirm free, surfacing and taking another deep breath before being yanked below yet again.
Even though I opened my eyes it was still dark and dank. Then I heard screaming. Planes were flying above, their lights finding their targets before they dropped their bombs. Suddenly, a light flashed before my eyes and my body was flung away from wherever I was standing. I lay there, mangled and unable to move without pain shooting through my entire body. Then everything faded out until all was black again. Finally, I was numb, thankful that I couldn’t feel the pain any longer. I was shook out of my relief when the jostling and tumbling began again. I was flipped upside down time and time again, bumping my head on the rocks that hit me when I moved. My limbs flailed when I saw another set of rocks and faster water, I closed my eyes, took another breath and whispered,” Bring it on” as everything spun and went black.
When I opened my eyes this third time I was at a playground that was often home to my many childhood adventures. I ran up the stairs and swung across the monkey bars. When I landed I ran up the stairs again but took a different turn, going toward the slide. I grinned, having forgotten how much fun slides were when you were a little kid. I slid down but fell on my face at the bottom. I stood up but fell right back down again when everything started spinning and the sound of rushing water reached my ears.
I could scarcely believe my eyes when I opened them. I had made it through the rapids! A large outcrop of rock right next to the riverbank provided a perfect place to grab hold of and get out of the water. Once out I realized how completely soaked my emerald green dress was. I could run home like this! So instead of going home immediately I laid in the meadow, among the buzzing bees, long grasses, and wild flowers in the warm sunshine. Then I closed my eyes and drifted slowly to sleep.
I woke to thunder, lightening and a newly soaked dress. I just couldn’t win! I stood and ran down the path, on my way home, still wet. And I left behind me my adventures in the rushing, churning river of dreams.

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