A few hours later guests started to arrive, and I was drug out of my room to help greet them. It was a cascading waterfall of greetings and congratulations. My front deck, which was an open field just a few hours ago, was now so filled with people; one could hardly see where the crowd stopped. I felt squished and cramped, like an extra sardine shoved into a can that wouldn’t close. I wanted the deck to go back to an open field again, somewhere I could think.
An idea popped into my head, and I bolted from my room. I grabbed my bag, my camera, a small notebook, my favorite black ink pen, a bottle of water, and my phone. I then found my mother through the swarm, told her where I was headed, and then started down the driveway.
I walked past the numerous vehicles parked alongside the narrow, winding road. They reminded me of two trains, with each automobile parked bumper to bumper with the next acting as a separate car, stocked to the brim with coal, or wood, or paper, or anything else.
I followed the road up and over the small familiar hill which I drive over every day on my to and from home and work. The train of cars stopped, and my left opened up to a forest of trees, and my right revealed a small swamp. Another two hills later, I saw what I was looking for.
It was a trail which continued straight ahead of me, instead of cur...
... middle of paper ...
...a down on the planks of the bench with countless initials carved into it by passersby. I took out my small notebook, and flipped to a blank page. I set it on my lap while I fished my pen out of the bag, and uncapped it.
Finally I looked out at the forest as a whole. When I first went up there when I was little I thought that the view was a painting, and wondered how someone could fit a canvas out there. When I saw the forest, I still saw an artist’s masterpiece, with each pine a careful brushstroke. On that day, it was even truer, with the beautiful open sky shining down on the scene.
I never loved a moment more than that one. I forgot about my pen and paper for far too long. I just sat on the bench and watched the clouds move across the sky, cast their shadows down on the trees below, listened to the insects buzz, and the cars hum as they whizzed by out of my view.
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