March 2, 2017
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My friends and I strode purposefully through a bleak landscape composed of sandstone boulders resting in the abysmal shade of twisted cedars. Sparse grass yellowed by an unrelenting sun brushed against our bare legs. The desert in which we walked was only made meaner by points of cacti and yucca plants. Occasionally a cottontale could be seen flitting between stones fleeing the crunch of our footsteps and the heat of the sun alike. The blue shadeless sky watched over us and the sun scorched sand, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, there was water.
Cold clear water was laid out in sharp contrast to the surrounding desert. I thought it a wonder that the thirsty earth did not swallow up the lake entirely. Despite its wrung out surroundings the water remained. The lack luster environment seemed to come alive with the addition of water. A plethora of varying plant life exploded from the ground where the desert ground and water converged. Insects buzzed over the water’s surface, frogs croaked in lush and shallow lagoons, and all manner of animal prints could be found at the water’s edge. Once I dove beneath the surface I saw how the water further proved its deviance from the harsh surroundings. Thick mats and tangles of aquatic plant life abounded around the base of great sandstone boulders. Within the cove fish of varying colors and shapes drifted lazily over the vegetation only to start at the slightest disturbance. Outside the cove, water depth increased gradually until the bottom fell away to a seemingly unreachable abyss. Diving into this darkness caused me to yearn for the sweltering air above, as the encompassing water seemed void of any warmth or light. Shooting upward, away from the bottom’s icy grip, my lungs ached more severely with every passing second. Taking large gulps of warm air, I retreated into the shallows, knowing that the only place I would find comfort was the overlap of the two extremes.

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