I felt tiny blisters rise on my palms as I pulled the oar through the shining surface of the lake. I'd been rowing for over an hour and had broken into a sweat, though I was not even breathing hard. The oars sliced cleanly through the water and pulled away with ease, creating tiny ripples on the surface. Brilliant, shiny little goldfish propelled themselves through the water in small schools, and dragonflies skimmed the surface. Water sloshed gently around my bare toes in the bottom of the boat. It had been painted long ago, but the paint had worn down and slowly chipped off. I felt my arm muscles straining as I hadn't rowed since the last summer I came here. My arms moved in constant parallel motion, straining toward the other side. The gentle rocking of the boat relaxed me and relieved me of the many tensions of city and school life which had been pounded into me throughout the year. My oars touched bottom and I jumped out into the warm aquamarine water. I waded to shore pulling the boat after me, and stretched out on the sand for a nap in the warm afternoon sun. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.