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Another Day This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Pfft. My foot slips for a moment on the loose, rock trail. I shield my eyes from the setting sun trying to see how much farther we need to go. My father stops for a moment besides me.


“Tired already? Come on, you’re younger than me!” he exclaims encouragingly. I can’t possibly stop before him, it was my idea that we needed to get exercise in the first place. Next time I’ll suggest earlier in the morning, this late in the afternoon it feels as though the sun takes a sort of sadistic pleasure in sucking all the moisture out of me. I take another deep breath before pushing myself up again and continuing up the hill.


Wsshh crackle. My eyes flit to the side just in time to see a coyote disappear into a thicket of dry bushes. It never ceases to amaze me how alive the most desolate places are. Somehow out here in the dry desert creatures survive, filled with vibrant vitality and the overwhelming will to live.


“Almost there!” my father calls from ahead of me. He’s already reached the top of the hill, surveying the view as he waits for me. I stumble up the last few steps rather than hiking, brushing off my dust covered clothes. An amusing image pops up in my mind imagining my best friend hiking with me caked in dust. My fashion sensitive, perfect makeup, gorgeous and intelligent best friend would look like an alien out here. But the dirt doesn’t bother me, I was never a preppy kind of girl.


At the top I’m reminded why I wanted to go hiking today, “Wow…” I trail off, not really sure what to say. The rain that came a week ago has worked its magic. The hills that stretch before me as far as the eye can see are covered with green grass and yellow flowers lit up with the light of the fading sun. In another week the hills will be brown and dead and dry again, I had to see it before then. I look behind me at the transition from wild to the suburbs, houses and streets and strip malls cover the landscape at the bottom of the hill. Before me lies a vast unknown wilderness that draws me and pulls me towards one of the trails leading deeper into the hills.


“Hey, hey,” my father catches me before I keep going, “I know you’re a nature lover, tree-hugger and all that but unless you plan on camping out here tonight, you can’t keep going. Look at the sun, there’s not much light left.” I glance at the sunset and sigh with the realization that he’s right. But it’s so difficult to turn away from the beautiful scenery…


“We can come back tomorrow if you really want to, save it for another day,” my father says almost as if he can read my mind. I look back down the trail that winds into the folds of the land longingly then turn away.

“Another day,” I agree.




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