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A Walk in the Woods

I walk down the path feeling my hair blowing in the gentle breeze and hearing the crisp crunch of dried leaves under my feet. The milk chocolate dirt beneath my feet is firm but soft. The trees rise up on either side of me framing the sky and forming a natural cathedral, and sunshine enters through the cracks in the web of branches, brilliant and fluid. These prolific plants are coated with grayish skin, parched and worn, raw and uneven with dry and rough ridges. The trees are thick with long, sturdy branches that reach up like a child trying to catch the sun while their leaves impatiently rustle together in the calm wind creating the soft, steady sound of drizzle. Birds add their melody to the song with mellifluous twitters that vocalize the sound of silk. Squirrels accompany with muted drumbeats as they scamper among the leaves and run up trees, and the sound of leaves being crushed as I walk provides a clapping rhythm. I take a deep breath and the smell of pine and damp dirt that pervades and sweeps through this cathedral fills me, a pungent and fresh scent that still clings to the humidity of the last rain.


But now as I reach a clearing, the temple of trees ends and the dirt turns to stones. The light gray stones I walk on are smooth, about the size of golf balls, and they sizzle and crackle as I kick them around. The sun begins to glare at me and the insects’ siren song blares through the day like a trumpet. I take a sip of my water and taste the refreshing nothing as I look up at the sky. Gray clouds do not suppress this clean-blue sky today. I steal a glimpse of the sun, even though my mother told me never to look at the sun directly, and squinting, I can see its fiery gold melting and extending its radiant rays into the blue.


I keep strolling down this trail of stones, and the low gurgling of a leisurely moving stream grows louder. From afar, the water glistens as it reflects the sun’s gold, making it a deep blue with gleaming ripples of white. But there is something else that shimmers – no, glowers. I warily take a few steps forward. The blur of colors and sounds becomes more distinct, and the figure of a brick-red, parked dirtbike appears. It looks recently waxed and polished, ironically dirt-free, but it will never look as clean as the stream. The riotous rip of other dirtbikes nearby cuts into the quiet hum of the water like a chainsaw. I flee from these zipping, jagged noises, the image of the obstructive dirtbike flashing in my mind as I run.


I only slow down when I reach the safety of my cathedral, and again, the smell of pine refreshes my tired lungs. The din of the dirtbikes fades as the song of the birds and squirrels and the whistling of the wind take over and soothe my ears. I close my eyes and immerse myself in this music, knowing that the net of branches of my sanctuary will protect me from harm.



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missscribbles said...
Jun. 28, 2012 at 10:23 am:
This is so pretty and peaceful! My favorite phrase has got to be "milk chocolate dirt"
 
AlaskaFrostThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm :
haha thanks again! :D
 
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