July 31, 2010
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My stomach filled with butterflies as I gingerly plopped down next to my best friend, Alexa. During the summer I was ten, I found it relaxing to sit adjacent to her on the aged wooden deck and watch her paint or draw. It was a peaceful and happy moment. Any time that I spent with Alexa made me feel like a kid in a candy store. Every time I was with her, I savored the memory knowing that we would not always get to see each other in the future.

The cool breeze carried a mixed scent of water colors and the sweet smell of vanilla. Above us the clouds drifted dreamily across the mid-afternoon sky. While below us, we sat on an uncomfortable wooden deck- which hurt your bottom if you sat longer than fifteen minutes- facing outwards towards a murky green pond labeled “the snake pond”. Scritch. Scritch. I could hear precisely the strokes she made in pencil “mapping” out where the scenery before us was going to be. Then I saw her place down the pencil, she picked up the paint brush resting in the water, and swirled it around in the black water color. As she started to paint I stayed silent, sometimes even hindering my breathing because I was so fixated on the sounds that lingered from the brush smoothly combing across the paper.

As Alexa continued to paint, I felt in awe watching as her painting revealed the murky green pond, the tree with pod-shaped leaves next to the pond, the hills beyond the pond, and the cirrus clouds in the sky. Plus, the warmth of the day could be felt in the painting. Her hands continued to move with dexterity as she painted more details. By now my hands ached from supporting my body up, and my bottom felt like a thousand malicious bees stung it. Then I could feel the weight of the long day sitting on my eye lids, forcing them to be heavy with sleep. Straining to keep my eyes open, I shifted uneasily on the deck. I tried to pay more attention to Alexa’s painting than the lack of comfort or my exhausted eye lids. Leaning closer to look at the painting, I watched as she put on the last details.

As the sun slowly slid to the west, we both sat peacefully looking down at the painting she had just finished. The whimsical painting brought to life by Alexa’s hands was like seeing a shooting star for the first time. Nothing but happiness, joy, peace, and bliss filled the painting. There was no loneliness or pain, just a beautiful place we both enjoyed.

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