Heart Of Fire | Teen Ink

Heart Of Fire

November 17, 2015
By haleylevan GOLD, New York, New York
haleylevan GOLD, New York, New York
13 articles 0 photos 4 comments

                              “In our youth
                                         Our hearts
                                  Were touched with fire”

                            - Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

My hands burned as they gripped adamantly onto the rope and cable, muscles straining as fire traveled up and down my body. I hung, the harness pulled taut under me, fifty feet above the ground. Emptiness surrounded me on all sides. I was wedged between the cerulean skies and the ground, dotted with colorful spots of autumn.


Unintentionally, I let the rope slip out of my hand. Watching, helplessly, as it fell far, far away. Despair filled me like murky black water in a well, chasing away the remaining bits of my fortitude and will. My hands felt contused, aching and battered, as they pulled me, inch by inch, along the taut cable. Gathering momentum, I attempted to swing my leg over the cable, missing by just a few centimeters. I tried, again and again, each attempt getting closer than the last, but it was still not enough. I can’t do this, I thought, my hands limp at my sides, it’s too hard. I felt helpless as I dangled there, my heart sinking lower and lower with each passing minute.


So I hung there, staring at the trees encircling me, leaves made of incandescent, lustrous topaz, ruby, and emerald. I watched, as a fiery, scarlet leaf broke free from it’s stem, drifting languidly to the ground. It seemed serene, shifting slightly in the gentle, autumn breeze.


A fire awoke inside me as I stared at that scarlet leaf, and I gave it another try. Inching forward, I felt the cable pressing into my hands, cold and unforgiving. I felt a satisfying jolt as my sneakers thudded against the staples attached to the tree, penetrating the protective bark. With ease I lifted myself onto the cable. The sun shone with a radiance unmatched by all. I felt its rays warming me, congratulating me on a job well done. But I wasn’t finished yet. Leaning forward, I gazed at the leaves littering the hard, packed dirt, so far below me. Step by step, I shuffled towards the tree looming at the finish.


It was then that I slipped backwards, my feet barely able to stay on the cable as my stomach rushed up into my throat. I watched the sky expanding before me, it’s vastness terrifying me for an instant. The sapphire blue so perfect, untouched. No cloud dotted it, no bird flew by to ruin the perfect picture. It was entirely, beautifully, picturesque.


With a heave, I felt the cable bounce as I settled back on it. Carefully, cautiously, I lifted my foot, aware of the empty air pressing in on both sides. I took a step, then another, and another until I stood, facing the tree, my fingers reaching out tentatively to touch the rough bark. My heart thumped wildly, adrenaline pulsing in small, bright orbs throughout my body. I felt the bark scratching my fingertips as I leaned against it. Around me, the trees bowed down. The birds chirped, singing a victorious tune as I lifted my head high in triumph.
 


The author's comments:

I was inspired to write this piece because I believe that people should have some motivation in their lives and I believe that this will help a little. I want readers to know that even though life is a bit rocky from time to time, there is always a prize waiting for you at the end, however small.


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