As The Sun Sets... This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   Weather-beaten country roads pass beneath the treads of my timeworn mountain bike. It is difficult for me to recollect the last time I've allowed myself the pleasure of an enthralling adventure like the one I've set out on this cool, summer evening. With Nanci Griffith plugged securely into my trusty walkman, I embark on an adventure to nourish my withering soul. Pursuing that indefinable source in which many before me have found much solace, gives my mind an opportunity to wander, for my eyes to meander and for my soul to replenish itself.

Cow pastures roll past, and on the edge of the breeze you can catch the faint smell of the ever-present manure, which lingers in the air throughout the year. An occasional cow throws its head my way and lets out a healthy snort. I don't let this hello go unnoticed ... even a cow deserves recognition every now and then. So without further adieu I give a hearty hello and wave to my newfound friends. Soon, they are far behind and looming due north is a gigantic hill, much too steep for me to pedal up. As I trudge along, I kick pebbles around by my dragging feet. In the ditch, I notice honey bees collecting pollen and am careful not to disturb them. At the crest, I quickly remount my bike and attempt to regain momentum. I do not get far before a viciously barking dog chases me. My efforts to outrun him on the bike are in vain and he is on my heels. He makes one flying leap, and I feel his hot breath as he nips at me. I scream for him to go home, and he finally leaves me in peace.

With one minor disaster behind me, I look onward to where my path is leading me. It's a clear straight-away, so I pedal ferociously until I've reached thrilling speed. Allowing my head to tilt back, I enjoy the wind rushing through and against my entire body. My heart is pounding wildly and my lungs scream for oxygen. I inhale deeply, and my system is filled with the sweet scent of freshly cut hay. Again and again I breathe in deeply, reaching every outer extremity of my body, savoring every last bit of this precious gift.

In the east, great storm clouds lie in wait, preparing themselves for the moment when they will open their gates and send the rain crashing down. The clouds cast eerie shadows on the oats billowing with the breeze. To me, the illusion it creates is a storm brewing at sea. The waves of grain seem to be getting larger and the shadows gloomier by the minute. Sailors take heed: rough waters ahead. In the west, I view a contrasting picture. The sun has begun its glorious descent into the evening sky. The empyrean is filled with hues of pinks and oranges. Streaks of purple and red outline the majestic picture setting on the horizon. This image is one to hold close to the heart forever. When my life is running in turmoil on the west side of the track, I need not look too far to find a calm. An occasional dog barks at a passerby on the road. He must be close because the music in my ears is playing loudly. For fear of being attacked again, I do not cease movement until I am a safe stretch from possible danger. I am overwhelmed by a great flood of relief and joy which has been released into my soul. Serenity guides my path as I continue my journey home.

Random raindrops fall coolly from the heavens. They are refreshing rather than threatening. Off in the distance, rolling hills are shadowed by the omnipotent clouds. Along the way, I stop to smell the wild roses growing in heaps amid great weeds and bushes. Their beauty brings a smile to my face as they display their innocence to the world. I stoop to tenderly pluck a brown-eyed Susan from the roadside. It is the first one I've found this season. They seem to hide from the wandering eye, and to find one is a pleasure.

All too soon, I find my adventure coming to a close as I round the last bend toward home. My heart, mind and soul are at peace for the first time in ages. My body is exhausted, but I'm not about to let that worry me or bring me down from this cloud where I am perched. This natural high I'm experiencing is working wonders, and I wish to share it with the world. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback