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Small twigs and dead, dry leaves crunch beneath my bare feet with every step I take. It’s hard to keep my balance on the uneven, moonlit path I’m following. It leads to a small meadow, where I once arranged a few rough, log benches in the center as a child. I found this sanctuary when I was just a young girl, and I have visited it many times since then. It’s a place where I can clear my thoughts, tell the forest my problems, and get answers back.
I haven’t visited my getaway in a year or two, so everything seems to have changed slightly. I find my childhood doll buried in a small mound of ferns that cling to her. I had forgotten her here, and she is now a dirty, tattered mess. I pick her up and put her in the pocket of my jeans. When I stand back up, I close my eyes and take everything in at once.
The wind whistles through the leaves in the trees surrounding me. It sends a soft chill down my spine to remember how I always loved that sound, though it is only my second favorite sound out here. I have always been completely mesmerized when I hear the cooing of the native owls. They make such a beautiful sound. I can’t believe I am going to have to let all this go.
The wind blows again, and I can taste the crisp, summer air. I inhale strongly through my nose, hoping to pick up the scent of the pine trees. At the first hint of their smell, I start to cry. I slowly make my way to the old, now mossy, log-benches and sit down. The rough bark punishes me, trying to scratch the backs of my legs. I sob for a few minutes, then stop, realizing I have only a few more minutes to truly appreciate this place for the last time.
I gently lift my head to look at the moon, and find a large, graceful owl flying in front of it. The stars twinkle softly in the sky. I now know I have never seen anything prettier than what I am seeing right now.
I start to walk back, but I turn around at the mouth of the trail I have taken so many times to get to this gorgeous scene. I take one last deep breath, looking at everything in my sight: the trees, the plants, the greens…my childhood playhouse.
I can’t stay any longer. It’s time to leave, so I turn back toward my beloved path and head home. That was the last time I’m ever going to see that place, and I can’t get myself to let it go. Another gust of wind runs past me, and an owl screeches loudly. I look up, and I see the owl that was in front of the moon. He’s following me, as a part of my past, inspiring my future.



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franc said...
Nov. 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm
beautiful. ♥ you! (:
 
StoryBox34 replied...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 11:17 pm
I figured you would like this one :) Actually, when I wrote it, I thought of you :)
 
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