A Walk in the Woods

January 13, 2011
By TGundala GOLD, Somerset, New Jersey
TGundala GOLD, Somerset, New Jersey
12 articles 0 photos 84 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight

Last weekend, I had gone to Mark’s house for a little get-together. While I was sitting down on his sofa next to him and Cody, he asked me, “Hey Thoran, have you ever been to the secret spot?” Before I could even finish saying no, Cody and Mark were already at the door with their jackets on. Mark picked up a couple of pocket knifes which they wouldn’t tell me the reason for, and we headed out into the woods.

We walked through the woods where a natural path was made by a small creek. About 150 feet away from Mark’s house there was a medium sized clearing in the woods with random pieces of junk scattered at either end. When I asked about it, I was told that it was a paintball arena, and was built from scratch from broken doors to stacked tires. Mark happened to love “paintballing” and would go out every once in a while. I stopped to tie my shoes, and then we continued deeper into the trees.

About a few minutes of walking, Mark suddenly stopped and by instinct I stopped as well. He looked down at the ground and asked me, “Are you wearing any good shoes?”
“No,” I replied, scared for the reason he asked. “Why do you ask?” I questioned.
Mark replied, “Its about to get very muddy, very quickly.” About two days ago it had rained and apparently, since the trees blocked the sun, the ground wasn’t able to evaporate the excess moisture. So in certain parts of the forest, there were huge mud spots.

“Hey! What are you guys doing?” someone exclaimed. Mark and Cody’s eyes immediately widened, and without a word they started sprinting into the woods, through the mud hole. I had no choice but to follow them, and getting my Nikes marinated in mud in the process. We probably ran for a good five to seven minutes before Mark and Cody slowed down. I waited a minute to catch my breath, and asked, “Who was that?”
Mark replied, “The most annoying neighbor ever. If he caught up to us, there’s no telling what could happen.” I left it at that and kept walking. After a few more minutes, we entered a clearing about the size of a baseball field.

“Wow!” I exclaimed. It was just stunning. In the middle of the clearing ran a clear water stream, gushing over rocks with a slight gurgling sound. A fallen tree trunk about four feet in diameter lay down on one side of the river, leaning up against a tall tree. The tree trunk was slanted, with its highest point about fifteen feet in the air. The tree was covered in graffiti and carvings, as were most of the skinny trees around it. The air smelled fresh of moss and leaves, which were the color of fire, a golden red with a slight tinge of yellow.

Cody and Mark said that they had dropped a knife while running, and they went back to retrace their steps. They gave me the remaining knife, and told me to carve my name onto a tree. They were gone for a while, so I had managed to carve several words. The first was on the giant trunk, on which I wrote my name with the year 2010 next to it. On a thinner tree I carved my initials with the year, and on another tree I carved just my initials. Right when I finished putting some final touches on the third carving, Mark and Cody showed up.

All three of us found a rock on the stream that was wide and wouldn’t touch the water, and we all sat on it. We sat for about five minutes, observing the flow of the water, the songs of the birds, the whisper of the wind, and rustle of the leaves, and the sighing of our breaths. It felt like life, like this is what people should be doing everyday to get away from the stress of work and school. For those few minutes, I forgot all my homework, all my Facebook posts. Everything. I might not even have answered to my name. All I thought about was the serenity and silence surrounding me.

After a little bit, we started to head back. We grabbed all of our stuff and went back the way we came. We walked back very quietly like as if each one of us was still lost in the peace of the woods. When we got to Mark’s house it was around 7:30 PM, and getting dark. Mark set a fire in a pit in his backyard and all three of us sat around it thinking. I just stared into the burning red fire and observed.
The fire is not destruction like many think, to me it is a sign of life. It is the representation of creation. A fire can burn down everything in an old forest, but it doesn’t completely kill it, as new saplings begin to grow almost immediately. Soon the saplings will turn into trees, and the trees will grow old, and there will be another fire. It is the “circle of life”. A simple experience with nature can really reveal things. Today, when I look back on that magical time, it feels as if I had taken a time-out from the hustle and bustle of the world.

The author's comments:
I was walking through the woods with my friends, and the forest just seemed so beautiful under the autumnal sunset.

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This article has 198 comments.

Ashokblaster said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 10:26 pm
This is really cool ... shows a lot of introspection and thought. This author is on his way to being a good thinker and also has talent in enunciating it !! Way to go !

Kavitha said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 10:12 pm
Thoughts put together very Nicely. Good Job !!!!!

shashi said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 9:51 pm
Good thoughts put into words very nicely ... keeping it short made it more interesting !!  Good going ...

Nightsky said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 9:25 pm
Enjoyed reading this! 

RJ 123 said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 9:08 pm
Nice job with the imagery.  I can imagine your secret spot in the woods.  Keep writing if you enjoy it - good skill to have and who knows could become something you can cherish down the road.

pavani said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 8:43 pm

what a beautiful way to describe the little things we enjoy in our daily life.We really need to spend some quality time enjoying the nature around..

very well said

Jya Dala said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 8:35 pm
Excellent Narration. I feel like going to the same place and explore the area with the author of this article

Subbu said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 8:23 pm
Very nicely written article. Very pleased with the way he narrated. Keep up the good work.

Prasad said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 7:02 pm
Awsome! Very nicely narrated.. and paid great attention to even minor aspects of the storyline.

on Jan. 19 2011 at 6:34 pm

I thought the author was taking the readers in the direction of some school boys cracking a mystery in the woods.  Instead, as if by the wave of a magic wand, the narration turned us into trees, the birds, and the rocks in the woods and we watched the youngsters blissfully lose themselves in the lap of nature.  The serenity of the nature around translated into the serenity within, both for the boys and the readers as well.  What's most interesting, in my view, is the association of fire with both creation and dissolution – very similar to the Vedic and other ancient cultures have come to treat/ worship Fire. 

Write more and the “flow” of narration will develop even more.  Good luck.

Gman said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 6:33 pm

What a beautiful and thoughtfully written article !  I will forward to many more of your posts.

You have wonderfully expressed the serenity you experienced in the woods that day.

Keep writing !

2kids said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 6:29 pm
Very inspiring Story.

SKapoor said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 5:49 pm
Wow! very nicely written...

Bhat said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 5:46 pm
Very nice article that reminds us the importance of appreciating the nature that we are all part of. You are absolutely right. Stop to smell the roses. Appreciate the mother nature. Having belonged to the current generation of social networking, the teen in you defies to be the stereotype and not only you ventured out what it would be like to spend time in woods but also took time to pen down your thoughts and experiences. Way to go. Bravo. 

Pursuit said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 12:48 pm
Very well written! I think you have captured the beautiful scene very effectively in your words!

Limerick78 said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 12:41 pm
Reading your article, i could almost feel the serenity of the woods sitting here in the office! great piece Thoran!  :-).

Rajitha said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 12:33 pm
Wow! It is a wonderful article. You described everything so well that I could feel the surroundings and place myself in the woods to feel the calmness and serenity of your experience.

Stars said...
on Jan. 19 2011 at 7:41 am

It is a lovely article. You writing is very detailed and descriptive. It was especially heart warming to read how you got in touch with your inner-self. You have described your emotions very well. You seem to have gained so much, so many memories and such profound feelings from a very small moment.

I enjoyed reading it. Looking forward to more.

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