An Exciting Week in Philadelphia

March 28, 2012
I can remember a time when I was about fourteen years old and I had stumbled upon a weird little shack, in the middle of these woods during the summer. At one point I felt a sort of clarity and felt one with the place.
It was only a few years ago I found this place. I was aware of greater things, but needed to clear my head and that all I had to do was walk to achieve this. I had walked in on this place with a friend, but by now he must have forgotten it. I had been wandering around the woods and this place had struck me as peculiar. Then I realized the only reason it was peculiar was because I was the only one who knew it was actually there and I could gather my thoughts without interruption. I had been back there sometimes in the winter and spring to check its state. The place has not changed much for years, but that’s why I like it. It makes me feel whole, refreshed, and confident all over again. It is really the only place I have ever come back to repetitively, and might be one of the only places I can truly call myself rejuvenated and whole.
The place is very secluded. There is no path to this place, so I had to commit the track to memory, and that is not hard. I walk in by myself into these strange woods. Twigs snap under my shoes and I put my hand up to shield the sunlight that is straining to penetrate the foliage. It might seem like unknown terrain for others, but for me it is like my stomping grounds. I come upon a clearing after walking into the woods for about ten minutes. On the left is a pond full of frogs, fish and weird nasty-looking bugs and a couple chairs around it to lounge upon. I stop and take my bearings. Right in front of me is a small old rundown shack that might’ve been used back a decade ago. There are two broken windows, and a sagging roof that suggested age. To the left of me is a boulder, just big enough that you can clamber up on. I breathe deep, smelling the pollen and the green all around me; I waslk around the pond to observe.

I can hear frogs making their bloating noises, a couple woodpeckers chattering above and a distant dog barking. The ground is soft with the early morning dew and I can feel the leaves under my feet. There are many logs to sit on, fish to catch and bugs to watch and occasionally bigger game comes around. The crisp air has me frozen for a moment and I walk towards the shack. I open the door and inside is a solitary little chair and small table to sit at, making it worth your while to sit in. It smells musty and old inside, but it has a good view of the pond and its animals. I turn around to take in the scene like a sponge, soaking up the nature and calmness of the moment.

The place definitely has a personality, its calmness and briskness makes it all fit like in a puzzle and it made me feel small and insignificant, that of all my problems, there are worse ones. It was windy but for a moment it is silent and leaves stop rustling. The still air made me feel part of something more than just this clearing. I stop and think for a moment. I felt things in this world that have not changed and never will. I guess there is a part of me that stays around this place and goes with me to other places unknown. I always feel whole in this place, with the wind blowing at my face, my shoes stepping over logs and my hand surreptitiously moving every tree branch in my way. Maybe I feel as though there will always me a small part of me here, because of that moment, back in the clearing, listening to nature speak to me in the wind.

This solitary spot in the woods is one I will keep in my head. Not going anywhere, but still. Every time I see it, it is as if nothing has changed, and it still takes my breath away; its isolation from civilization is complete and makes it an entirely separate entity. It is always so calm and relaxing to take a sit at the pond or in the shack, it will always feel the same to me. It’s a place I can call my own secret spot. Every time I ome back I am reminded of that day, when I was fourteen years old and it was that nice summer day.

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