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My Favorite Escape

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The alarm clock screeches, waking me from a blissful sleep. I slowly reach over and turn it off as the thoughts of my day rush into my forgetful mind. Sitting up, I realize what day it is. Today is the day that I have longed for because I am about to embark on a journey. Although it will only last for one day, the memories of this day will be etched in my memory for a lifetime. As I hurry myself to complete my final preparations, I am careful not to forget my treasured camera. Leaving my worries behind, I start down the driveway, out into the road, with only a simple, hand-drawn map to guide me.

Reaching the outskirts of my familiar town, the buildings grow farther and farther apart, and the country side grows ever wider. The flat farm lands seem to go on forever. The remnants of what used to be fields of crops lay before me. Occasionally, I pass a cluster of cows grazing in the warmth of the morning sun. In the distance, I can see the land gently rise as trees gather along the roadside like soldiers standing at attention. The road becomes steeper as I travel deeper into the mountains. The untouched nature seems to be preserved as if it were kept in an invisible box. The twisting and turning pavement makes me aware of the steep hillside that lay to the side of my path. The beautiful trees become thicker and colors of orange and red flash by my window. The time slips by and hours pass. I can see the valley that is outstretched beneath me. The mountain side is covered with a colorful blanket of trees and rays of sunlight peek between the leaves, piercing the ground. Excitement bubbles within me as I get closer to my destination, and finally I see the sign that tells me that my journey is about to reach its climax. I turn into the park.
Reaching Blanchard Springs, I stop my vehicle next to wall of stone, one that man’s hands could never create. I eagerly step out onto the small mountain path, with the cool crisp breeze running its fingers through my hair. Looking up, I see the massive hill, which seems as big as a mountain, towering over me, with its countless moss-covered trees waving at me as if to bid me welcome. I begin walking down this lonely little path made of stone. It is so inviting, but taunting at the same time by giving me small glimpses of the glorious peacefulness that I will find at the end of the path. Every sight is so serene and unpolluted by human technology. No cell phones or beepers blaring in my ear, only the sweet gurgling of the trickling brook humming as it gracefully jogs in the opposite direction as I wish to travel. I continue on, as I could forever, watching the armies of squirrels and birds carry on with their daily chores of gathering food while also protecting their sacred homes. The trees and bushes give way to large boulders as I reach the end of my path.


It is even more beautiful then I remember. Standing there, awestricken, with not a worry in mind, all I can do is breath, for fear I might disturb nature at its best. Finally, after a few moments, I pick up enough courage to walk down and meet, face-to-face, this majestic waterfall. I long to touch it, to feel the water with my own hand and its gentle mist on my bare legs. I feel as if I could absorb some of its inspiration if I only touch it. Getting closer, I notice the water is no longer humming, but is now singing with all its strength, proclaiming the power of its maker. Standing with my feet submerged in the crystal clear water, all I hear and feel is that song. The sun glistens in the water as if it were filled with diamonds. I stand in awe of its beauty as I feel the rush of the water over my feet.
Seconds turn into minutes, and minutes become hours, and as much as I wish I could lay there on those rocks with the spring’s cool mist covering my body, I must return to that small path and to my vehicle where I will step back into the reality of my daily life. I am refreshed by the waters that have sprung deep from the earth and have filled me with a renewed strength. The worries of this life seem distant memories as the sounds of the spring echo in my ears. This place will become my refuge and I will return to it, if only in my mind.





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