Special Place

December 1, 2010
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There is but one place that can truly face off against the stresses and woes of modern life with only peacefulness and tranquility as its weapons, and come out victorious against these troubles. It is a place whose trees and grass and rivers are able to act as barriers between this world, and a world that few people will ever experience. It is a world so desolate and alone, so wonderful and forgiving, that it may be the savior of those who enter it; those who never want to leave.

The deep, rich forests within the state of Missouri have seemingly magical powers, so astounding they are nearly incomprehensible to the minds of those who have not witnessed them with their own eyes. When first gazed upon, the jumble of trees and bushes and creeks may seem like nothing more than insignificant landmarks and vegetation that have grown, with no purpose, over the last few centuries. Books cannot always be judges by their covers, however. When one takes another, longer, and more introspective look at this maze of forestry and the animal life woven within, it’s true beauty begins to show.
The trees, which before seemed to stand lifeless, now reach far inside the mind, massaging the overworked brain and soothing its stress to the point of pure relaxation. Once at ease, the visitor may finally enjoy the presence of the trees themselves, much as the trees relish the visitor’s presence. The small bushes, which before seemed more obstacles than musical instruments, start to whisper as the wind rustles through the leaves, creating a slow melody for the attentive mind to luxuriate in. For the uncommonly symphonic mind, this song can be examined closer; when it is revealed to be much more than wind and leaves and grass. It is the very voice of these plants, speaking as if it is just another person, allowing those nearby to experience the delicate beauty it has to offer.

As one moves deeper inside this North American jungle there are even more breathtaking sites to be seen. The creeks and rivers run so closely and interwoven, they are like spider webs, not easily distinguished from each other as they run past the shrubs and weeds. And the water; the sweet, blue, water, is a miracle of its own. How water-no different from the water inside your refrigerators or faucets-can be so pure, is a mystery that will never be known. This mystery is one that will never have the chance to be solved. Because as one is staring deep into the cool, clear, enchanting water they lose all desire to know. They care not how the water became this pure, nor how the trees became so green and healthy; nor the air, so sweet. The only thought in ones mind as the serenity of this forest is experienced is that of happiness. Absolute and complete happiness. While absorbing all the sounds and smells and sites of the surrounding forestry it is nearly impossible to think any other thoughts, only happiness.

Just as it seems the excitement seems over, that there is no possible way this forest could get any more marvelous, they do. Past all the grass and greenery, creeks and breezes, deeper inside the forest the small creatures that dwell here begin to show themselves. Subtly at first, one might notice some movement near a rock or over some roots. Possibly hear the splash of the water, or hear rustling in the trees overhead. Then, as if the could read your mind and knew you were no foe, the animals show themselves. Never in ones life could a more peaceful community of small animals be imagined. Looking around, there is not one instance where the animals are not living in complete harmony. The squirrels, chipmunks, and hedgehogs are able to fill themselves to the brim with all the sweet, tasty leaves and greens they can find without fear of predators, for they are nowhere to be found. Birds can fly freely around gathering twigs and sticks for the nests that they know will be needed for the spring arrival of their chicks. All are able to drink plentifully from the clear waters in the creek, for even as they drink more than they can ever need, the flow is not stifled.

The berry bushes, too, began to show themselves as one progresses deeper into this green wonderland. At first, one or two, whose branches are bursting with more berries than would be needed to make enough pies for a small army. More and more are soon discovered, of all colors and shapes and sizes. Some look as though they have never been discovered before, a hidden secret native only to this forest. Vibrant blues, deep reds, and even a few stray orange and green berries can be seen peeking their bulbous bodies out from between the leaves on their bushes. Plucked at the peak of perfection these berries would taste not like one might think a berry would taste, but more towards biting into your own slice of heaven, where worries and problems and the rest of the world is melted away as the sweet delicacy is chewed. The berries, although one would not think it to be true, can be noticed from great distance, because besides the intricate colors, and sugary taste, they give off a scent that is more than enough to make one faint out of sheer ecstasy. This pleasant odor is there, unmovable, for all who travel this deep into the wilderness to savor.

All who have enjoyed the forest for so long, and have traveled so far within, will be forever changed by its true beauty. They will dream for many nights of the next time they may return. It is this thought alone that will allow them to persevere through the stresses and hardships they must go through everyday. The oh-so-sweet smell of the berries will visit their tongues every once in a while, teasing them with the thought of returning. As will the crisp taste of the air, or the enchanting sights of the creatures, rivers, and brooks that are scattered throughout the forest so perfectly, as if placed there by nature itself.





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