My Place

A late Throwback Thursday Edition. 

I blog a lot about writing. Yet, none of you have actually seen any of my pieces. I'm not able to do that yet--you know, copyright stuff--so today I'm sharing the closest thing to it, and English Paper of mine.
Not just any ol' paper, though, but a creative essay. 
I wrote it about a year ago, and it's one of my favorite homework assignments so far. 
I hope you Enjoy it! 

My Place
            No one knew it—not even the creators—but this white, four-door, Ford Taurus had become my sanctuary.
            The interior of the car carries all of my prayers, safely tucking them inside its cracks like the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. My heart has been splattered across the grey, suede seats, leaving parts of me in every crevice.
            The best thing about my car, though, is the freedom it grants my imagination. While I drive, my mind spirals out of control. It rushes to a place within me, a place unlike any other. As Carl Sagan once said, “Imagination will carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
            One would find my imaginative place, in the deepest, greenest forest amongst a clearing. Inside, the sweet smell of lilies, dandelions, and daises sting my nostrils. The field is filled with endless, blossoming flowers, and the rabbits play in them, resting frequently as they hop with their loved ones. The clearing is no bigger than a football field in length, but the tall trees around it give the false appearance of a perfect circle. An outsider would think of it as a globe, separating the external world from the internal world completely. 
            The air is thinner here, and the wind blows softly, tangling the ends of my hair from time to time, cooling me off when my body temperature rises from wonder. I am distracted often—there’s a wide variety of life creeping around my clearing, and I strive to see it all because the more I see, the more I know, and the more I know, the more I feel like I’m apart of them.  
            In the center of the clearing lies a small creek. The water doesn’t flow any higher than my ankles, and it’s about as wide as an old row boat—from front to back—filled with many rocks—different shapes and sizes. The atmosphere is louder near the creek. Mosquitos fly about, frogs croak with fierce, and locusts sing their highest, humming perfect notes in order to find their soul mates.
            In the distance, toward the end of the clearing, is an old, wooden house. The wooden pieces and logs that once held it together are now falling apart. They are chipped and worn at the edges and sides, and termites have claimed a permanent home inside of them. The glass windows are discolored and have all been broken. The entire shack leans to one side, holding onto the little confidence it has left. If it weren’t for the thick trumpet vines holding it together, the bruised house would have long dissolved into the earth by now.  Though the house is a part of my secret place, I don’t dare go near it—some things are better left untouched.
            As the sun glistens the grass and sparkles the water—filling the creek with endless, rapturing diamonds—I am reminded of the Prayer of Peace by St. Frances, “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is error, the truth; where there is doubt, the faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.” It’s these sweet moments, in my place, where I feel so much of God’s glory—where I feel so much love.
But in my infinitesimal place, through the thick trees, he is there, and he is what makes this clearing so much better than it already is. He doesn’t know how great he is, but he’s here, in my place, as glorious as God could create him to be.
He sits on the ground, across the creek, and I jog faintly toward him, squishing my tiny toes through the soft grass, and splashing my feet through the cool water.
When I make it over, I sit next to him and study the gratitude written in the lines of his solemn, pale face. His blue eyes lock onto my brown ones, and they squint momentarily as the sun rays bounce off his short eyelashes. His lips fall slightly parted below his narrow nose, and nothing, not even a whisper, slips from his tongue. He’s a brave one, I can see it in his brows, and I pray to carry the same badge as he does—I hope to be a warrior someday, too. But in our stillness—in my sacred place—he continues without a word, leading my imagination further than my heart can wander, leading me across stretches of the world that my feet could never fathom going. 
Still at rest, I study him as he studies me—I’ve never seen him so close before. His dirty blonde hair, long and curly, rests a bit past his shoulders, and he smiles at me with his eyes. I wonder what he’s thinking; I wonder what’s going through that silent mind of his. There’s this passage in Looking for Alaska, by John Green, that says, “Just remember that sometimes the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.” For a moment, before I could contemplate reality, I hoped he wasn’t thinking of me that way; I hoped he wasn’t thinking of me in a way that couldn’t uphold possible human standards; I hoped he wasn’t thinking of me and realizing that I wasn’t who he thought I would be. Worse than that, I found myself thinking of him in the same way that I had thought of my secret place—fictional. It was possible that we both had high expectations for each other, but I hoped we were more than that; I hoped we could grow into something wonderful because in my consecrated place anything was possible—there were no limits.  
            Now, whenever I drive, I take my time. Life is too short to ignore the beauty inside of me because in my meadow, my little clearing, I come alive. It isn’t a place of regret, disappointment, or sadness; my place isn’t a place where hope is without light. My place is absolute, and I can run without borders; I can be whoever I want to be because I am free here—no judgments, no filters. My place is full of restless thoughts, harmonic birds with enduring tunes and delicate winds that help the lilies grow. My place is like a dream, but better. It’s the same place that lullabies are made of; it’s a place where people run to escape reality. My place isn’t a place that disguises actuality. My place is different than any other—it’s within me.   
(c) 2014 Britney Lewis

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