The Mountain

May 18, 2017
By AneylaD. BRONZE, Martinsburg, West Virginia
AneylaD. BRONZE, Martinsburg, West Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

She breathed in the warm air until her lungs were burning in expectation of exhale. She was swallowed by the familiar smell of sweet maple, and she began to sink into the grassy earth beneath. Here in this place that was green as far as the eye could see, it was hard to feel anything but serenity. The sway of branches and falling of leaves seemed to echo the lullaby her mother used to sing to her when she was just a little girl. She held on tightly to this thought as though it was about to be stripped away like every other pure thought the world once possessed.

But it was different here.

Here, there were no worries? there was no pain. The constant wind had swept all of that away on her trek up the mountain. Here there was peace: peace in its truest form. The birds sang a salvation song, and even the sun seemed to bend down and kiss her cheeks. Something was different in this place. Something remained untouched, untampered. Somehow, the corruption of man had not reached this far, and she soaked up every piece of its strength while she could.

She could not imagine someone destroying this place: cutting down trees, building houses. She could not imagine those people stepping foot on this mountain. They were incapable of feeling the strength it emitted, and its beauty was mystic, even to her. She could not quite tell what made this place so enchanting. Maybe it was the vivid colors that stood in striking contrast to her daily life, or maybe it was the innocence it held. It was so pure? it was so whole. Maybe this place fascinated her so much because it was her opposite. She was battered and beaten, and this place stood above it all, flourishing.

She lay motionless, hoping that somehow she would slowly start to melt and become a part of this place. She longed for the peace it held. Her mind that was normally racing stayed perfectly still as if her body was beginning to match the rhythm of the mountain. What a beautiful thing it would be to stay like that forever. As the sun began to set, nothing lost its color. Instead, the leaves’ deep green grew richer, and the beauty of the sky was magnified. The birds kept to their steady songs, and the sound of crickets filled the air. She thought about what it would be like to stay here, to just leave everything else behind and never look back. The thought was so enticing that it seemed possible.
She opened her eyes to growth. The trees reached their arm-¬like branches up toward the sky, and the dew¬-soaked grass beneath her body freely gave of the energy it possessed. She sat up and looked around her. Trees. Grass. The river in the distance. The nest in the tree ahead of her. There was something so humbling about being in a place where nothing from man's own mind existed. It was almost as if she did not belong there, but she did.

Of course she did. She circled her finger in the smooth earth beneath, and her mind began to wander. She thought about going back to her daily life, and it didn't seem as taxing as it did before. She had been filled with new life, undoubtedly drawing strength from the abundance around her. As much as she adored this place, she was beginning to understand its evanescent beauty.

She looked down at her hand to see three familiar words: It Is Well. The words from the previous Sunday morning replayed in her mind over and over again. She could feel her mom's presence beside her as if she was really there, and then she was singing.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll?
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

She remembered the overwhelming feeling of desire those words produced. She longed to be completely whole, and so she sang louder, penetrating the stillness around her. She felt it. She was reborn? her mindset had shifted. She could not possibly stay here. She could not keep this feeling to herself. Something of this magnitude desperately needed to be shared. Just as it demanded to be felt, it demanded to be given.
Without a second thought, she picked up her things and started down the mountain. Despite leaving the peace she so loved, there was not sorrow. The peace was with her now. So as she walked, she sang. She was going back to her people, back to her family, back to her home. Maybe it was not as beautiful as the mountain, but it grew more and more inviting with every step. Now, she was the mountain. She had the peace people were longing for, and just as the sun had warmed her skin, she would warm their hearts. She was beautiful. She was strong.

She was well.

The author's comments:

This piece was inspired by a drive through Appalachia. The trees breathed growth. The green drew me in. And so, I wrote.

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