Silenced Time

May 3, 2009
“I just got here,” I responded to my dad one June afternoon.

As expected, we forgot a few things at home for camping, that, as my dad stated, “We desperately need.”

So, as I got on the 4-wheeler, I looked back at my grandma’s woods, which held the peace and serenity I was longing for.

That summer was supposed to be relaxing and my time to take it easy because there was no school. Camping was, and still is, an escape from my busy life. I was looking forward to taking a breather and spending some time enjoying a more subdued life, listening to nature’s calm and quiet words.

Once I returned from home, I helped get the camper set up and a fire started. I set off on my peaceful journey through the woods, free from any further responsibility. I walked on the 4-wheeler path while the light breeze blew just enough to cool me off in the eighty degree, summer weather. It was a descent day out. The bright blue sky looked like a vast, calm ocean, with the exception of a few grayish clouds that rested to the west.

When I had walked deeper in to the woods, I sat down on a log. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. It was as if time stood still. Nothing was bothersome and everything was perfect. The atmosphere was like a dreamland. In the background I heard the soft chirping of birds and I watched squirrels climb up the trees. Now this was the summer I was looking forward to.

I had that feeling that people get when they’re on vacation. It was a restful feeling that gave me a sense of not being busy, not having to go back to a normal schedule come Monday. That feeling was like putting a mute on time and the rest of the world. I sat there enjoying the all too rare moment of being in a peaceful safe haven, not worrying about anything that I had to get done. I wished that that moment could last forever, being lost in time.

I think I might have dozed off because when I awoke, it was suddenly darker. The breeze was no longer a soft, peaceful wind, but a harsh, gust of air that blew into my face. I didn’t hear nature’s sweet sounds anymore, for they must have hidden from the great storm that was coming my way. Then, I felt rain coming down. It was light at first, but started to pour minutes later.

I didn’t want to run back to the camper. I didn’t want to leave the calmness of the woods. It gave me a peace of mind and a place to run from the chaos of my busy life. But, I went back anyway so I wouldn’t get in trouble. Plus, I didn’t want to get soaked.

Right as I walked in the camper, my sister yelled, “Ha, ha! You got wet!”

In the blink of an eye, the quiet peacefulness was gone and I was back inside the noisy camper with my annoying siblings. Just when everything was perfect and it felt like the world paused for a short moment, I entered back into my bustling life, knowing that I couldn’t hide from time.

“What were you doing there?” my mom asked.

I replied, “You know, just getting away from those two.”

“They aren’t that bad.”

With that, I had to laugh. They were bouncing up and down like they just had five cans of Mountain Dew. My brother and sister couldn’t just read a book. They had to play some kind of game that they made up, on the spot, with rules that were always changing.

I went back outside with my dad to sit under the camper awning. My dad didn’t say much. Both of us wanted to be out of the crowded camper and away from the noise. I watched as water from the trees dripped onto the ground and into the developing puddles. Although the steady clattering of the rain was loud, I still managed to enjoy the little time I had not thinking about the work around the campsite that had to be done.

Later, after it stopped raining, I didn’t hesitate at all to step foot into the woods again, for another chance to feel as if time didn’t exist. What I’d give to make time stand still. But, I’ll just have to move on with life, one day at a time. And of course, I’ll always enjoy every little moment that makes me smile because, before long, I’ll be on the go, busy with new activities and little time for silence.

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