I sat alone on the damp, mossy rock beside the swift, spirited stream.
As it softly spoke its language of gurgles and burps, I removed my notebook from my backpack. The sea-green, well-worn cover of my poetry journal felt soft and smooth as I ran my hands across it.
No matter what the weather, this was my place to hide; it was the serene spot where no one would bother me, so I could sit and think, draw, or write. Today, my plan was to compose free verse poetry. The words usually flowed continuously from my pen to the lined, off-white pages like the water poured down the stream, but today they seemed to be trapped in my head. There was a thick cement wall preventing my free thought. I had no idea where my creativity had been transported to. It might have been absorbed by the scorching sun or blown away by the fall wind like the crisp, colorful leaves.
I just sat there with my pen staring at the water, unable to write.
The birds continued chirping happily as they always did. Their cheerful melodies traveled through the pine-scented air without difficulty and echoed in my vacant mind.
I decided to take off my shoes and socks and dip my feet in the water. It was chilly and my toes were soon numb, but I didn't remove them. I just sat there on the cool boulder at the edge of the stream with a warm breeze blowing maple leaves at my back and my feet frozen underneath the running water.
Surprisingly, the immersion of my feet gave me an idea. The pen came alive in my hand as I composed a short haiku:
Minnows slowly swim
in shallow pools and eat crumbs
which I throw at them.
It definitely was me. I had been inspired.
After finishing the poem, I reflected on some of the other times I had spent near the brook both with friends and by myself. I loved it here because it was my refuge from everyday life. While alone, I had no need to wear a mask or hide my pain.
I watched leaves lose their battle with gravity and flutter to the ground. I liked to watch the trees. They would wave to one another like passing friends when the wind blew. Their solemn descents reminded me of the snow yet to come.
Winter is the most peaceful season near the stream. Its rushing flow is slowed by ice. The trees bow when covered with heavy snowfall, and winding footprints of rabbits and squirrels set on the crust of the snow, dusted lightly by fresh, fallen powder in the quiet wonderland.
I felt calm and relieved as I sat staring at my writing on the thin page. A cool rain was beginning to fall. I saw a drop land in a stagnant pool filled with algae and I watched its ripples slowly fade. The rain began to fall faster and the wind became cooler. Soon, I was drenched in both water and happiness for my poem had melted. Blue ink ran down the delicate page, forming an intricate pattern much like a snowflake. A single light-blue drop dripped onto my hand, and I began to cry. I knew why the water looked blue.
Many revelations had overcome me while I sat near the stream. Today, I had realized why I loved the stream so much. Maybe tomorrow while sitting at its edge, I would discover the meaning of life. ^
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.