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Nature is Life

  “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their freshness into you, the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir?           ?          The days started early and ended late, cicadas buzzed, and the air was light. It was early summer.  My family had been camping at Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park.  Despite the warm atmosphere, our weekend had been rainy, a kind of misty haze that never seemed to want to lift.  Yet on this day, at an unreasonable hour of the morning, my mom woke my dad and me. She informed us that the sky had cleared and today would be a hiking day. 
            We fumbled out of our sleeping bags, pondering how my mother was as cheerful as the chickadees at six in the morning and sat on the picnic table near our tent.  There, we feasted on a breakfast of Kashi and bananas, pulled on our Smartwool and hiking boots, and drove.
             We didn’t know where we were going.  Sure, we had read some “Tourist Guides” and knew some of the popular hikes in the area, but spontaneity was much more fun.  So we drove, absorbing the green of the summer leaves, until we reached a parking lot for Pemetic Mountain.  Pulling under a stone bridge, we decided right then that this was the hike we wanted to do. We parked, got out, and grabbed the backpack full of food and band-aids.  We were ready to start.?            I bounced with excitement as we walked along little Bubble Pond, a pristine pool of clear water, guarded by tall mountains on either side.  As we walked, my mom told us that the mountain was a bald and had a loop trail, everything this family loved.  Then the trail turned, starting a steep ascent to the top.   ?            We climbed and climbed, through thick, diverse forest, our feet finding places in the footprints on the ground.  Our muscles screamed, but a kind of excitement filled us.  We were in the wilderness, away from it all.  This was the life. 
            Nearing the top, the trees around us turned to a stricken hemlock forest, then to shrubs, and then there was only moss on the rock beneath us.  We had reached the bald.  The sky seemed so close above our heads, we felt free as we ever could be.  ?            At the summit of Pemetic Mountain, the views were more than spectacular.  We could see for miles. Mountains stretched far out before us, little lakes and ponds and trees covered the land to our right, and to the left was the ocean, which stretched endlessly into the horizon, sunlight glinting off of it blindingly.  Land and water and sky and us. That was the entire world.
            The wind whipped across our faces, and I felt the need to move, to explore. I ran, jumping from rock to rock, thinking, discovering, learning.  All cares in the world were lost, as the feeling of nature was far superior to anything I could have been worrying about.  My feet felt the roughness of the rock beneath me.  My fingers dipped into the cool pool of water that filled a hole in the ground.  My hair blew, boundlessly, in the wind. Here, I wasn’t a visitor to the land.  I was the land.  Those rocks and trees and bits of soil that made up the ground beneath my feet were a part of me.  This mountain took me in, and made me who I am. I stood on a rock, spread my arms out wide, and felt the air on my skin.  I was part of the land.  The land was part of me.
 
            That day I realized that nature was the basis of everything in the world.  Nature is what we are, what we are made up of, it accepts us in any shape or form, and gives us perspective to the world around us.  It’s a type of art that is always with us.  Silly matters that invade our minds seem insignificant to the view from the top of a mountain. Nature is a special kind of happiness, the purest kind of joy, a curiosity that can’t be described by the word “curious.”  Nature is free.  Nature is life.





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