The Secret Pond

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When I was young, I loved to go on walks in the woods. My mother would accompany, but on some precious occasions, she would let me wander off on my own path. (It wasn’t until much later that I realized her eyes always followed my footsteps like a shadow on the leaf-littered ground.) If I close my eyes, the forest scene still floods back to me, streams of light trickling through the cracks between the gold-drenched shapes of the treetops. A soft crunch echoed under my feet as joy serenaded my heart in throngs of carefree splendor that lingers as Nostalgia’s song.


It was during one of these lone ventures in which I discovered my secret in the trees. In a part of the woodland that pushed the boundaries of my previous wanderings, I came to a gap in the trees, not filled with darkness, as one might imagine, but a hollow with a shining mirror-floor. As I came closer and closer to the sunbathed hideaway, the mirror rippled to life as a tiny bird broke the surface with his beak. I took another step, and the bird stopped and met my curious gaze. We sat locked in our strange, silent exchange for a few moments that could have been eternity, then, in a burst of song, it flew away into the trees, leaving a trail of trilling notes in its wake.


As I approached the edge of the clearing, I bent down to test my finger on the perfect reflection of the sky above. Around my finger moved circles of Autumn blue and fiery amber hues, melting the tips of the trees and the endless dome above. Mesmerized by Nature’s canvas for my creative dance, I sat finger-painting by the pool for what memory has made seem hours on end. As the light dipped below the gentle leafy giants that canopied my secret cove, a small chill tinged the air, like tender fingertips against my face, reminding me of warm cocoa that awaited me at home. I stood and turned to where I had come from, and, seeing the silhouette of my mother some yards ahead, darted towards her through the trees as the wind itself.


I returned to that place many times before I had grown. Now there is a parking lot where I remember that place used to be, but it remains intact in my fond memories. The woods seemed a lot bigger back then.

Created: Jul 24, 2012

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