A beautiful forest, a time of change, even though everyone might not know it. Walking into the forest with my group of friends I quickly admire the beautiful leaves and how they reminded me of little miniature suns, the brightest of colors but you could hold them in your hands without burning them. I smell autumn, and hear the crispy crunch of the dead leaves under my feet. I continue to walk down the path with my camping friends and we all talk in hushed voices as if the forest is going to tell our parents what we are up too. We walk until the campground is behind us and we are on our own. All of a sudden I catch a splash of color in the corner of my eye. I turn and see a beautiful, pure white daisy. I pick it and I show it among all my friends, a priceless prize that was the beginning of our expedition. We all decided that we would pick flowers for our parents and surprise them when we returned. We raced among the forest grabbing any flower that was in reaching distance and before we knew it we had a bouquet of flowers and were completely lost. Many of the younger children began to panic and the older ones, like me, had to calm our voices and show them that there was nothing to fear and that we would find our way just fine. We continued down the path. We stumbled over roots and scraped our faces and legs on branches with thorns. Many of us were becoming tired and no longer saw the forest as an independent escape and rather as a maze with no way out. We came to a river and all our fears were dissipated because right in front of us was the most dazzling, flawless orange lilies. All we had to do to reach our prize was to make it across the wide, murky stream. The first child across could claim the prize and become the “favorite” child. Wanting to own the most impressive flower I lunged into the stream without a care for what is on the bottom or what my parents will think of my mud-spattered clothes. I quickly realize that the mud on the bottom gripped around my shoes and would not let go despite my best efforts. I had to be pulled out of the water and nearly lost my shoes in the process. When I was safely back on land I slipped of my unrecognizable tennis shoes and was reluctant to give it a second try. One of my friends named Jesse decided to go for it. Her attempt was just as futile, not that I was very disappointed, and quickly we were debating if these flowers were worth the danger, we also knew that our parents had to be getting worried, we had to have been gone for several hours. As a group we decided that we would go in a pair and help one another across. Jesse and I were the best candidates to go. We slowly stumbled and splashed across, and before we knew it we had reached our “Golden Fleece.” We picked the flowers and carried them above our head, just as soldiers would carry their weapons, ready to use them to gain our parents love. After we came out of the river we were cold, wet, and shivering. Most of our group was hungry and had to go to the bathroom. We began to quickly hurry down the path, no longer enjoying the scenery of the forest. Up ahead we saw the campground, we raced to it, our refuge, our safety. Before we reached our spot we split the flowers between all the children. Jesse and I received the Lilies, which were beginning to wilt because of the lack of water. We rushed to our parents who turned and we saw relief fill their eyes, we showed them the flowers and they began to lecture us. They were mad? Why? We realized how late it was, we had been gone four hours. They were angry with us and told us to never do that again. We all sat there, feeling that all our toils and our surprise for them had backfired. All we had wanted to do was pick them flowers, to impress them and show them how much we loved them. Where did a child’s attempt to impress go wrong? I think back on what we all felt and did and found that is one of my character traits in my life today. I always strive to impress and show my parents how much I appreciate them. It means so much to know that I am accepted and loved by those people who surround me.
The Love of Childhood
January 20, 2010