Lost in the forest, I found myself

It’s kinda like you’re drowning, but on land. Alone combatting malevolent waves, treading water in a bottomless sea — the currents thrashing, smothering, suffocating. But nobody can help, all their eyes are fixated on you struggling. It’s quiet though for everyone else, distracted by tide carrying on as usual, swelling quickly and receding with one calm sweep. The sounds in your head are quite the opposite though, desperate and panicked. With the pressure of the water, your lungs keep squeezing smaller, choking and gagging on nothing.

Silence is incredibly loud, contrary to what you might believe. When you finally get away from the noise of everyday life and find a still place to remove all of the distractions and stop thinking, the quietness is almost deafening. It’s sort of scary, but at the same time, overwhelmingly beautiful. Something absolutely necessary to listen to when your heart rate is racing out of control and your mind keeps jumping ahead and ahead and ahead…

“Simplify, simplify,” Thoreau once advised. I’ve learned to feel peace again here, to slow down even in the midst of calamity. I paced through an expanse of overgrown grass — each individual blade kissed my ankles as I sulked. The lawn transitioned into dense brush as I ventured further into a community of ancient evergreens. I sat on the top of a hill, exposing my dangling feet to the depth of a valley. Below me was an ocean of wildflowers; lilac blossoms cherished the afternoon sun that beamed lavishly upon them, and cattails thrived alongside a creek, animated with the creatures who decided to make an appearance only during the sultriness of summer.

My staggering breaths were the only noises audible except for the crickets starting to chirp as the sun vanished in the wake of nighttime. Sunsets as beautiful as these make me want to believe that everything will be alright in the end. Shades of magenta fused together with lingering sunlight before the navy sky finally imposed itself upon the display. Few scattered stars became prominent, and the clouds seemed to disappear along with the colors of day. Mixtures of ravishing shades of rose and turquoise melted into darkness, just like a cup of water with pastel paint diluted in it as a bamboo brush swirled around; the water then tainted when the artist rinsed his instrument again, but this time with midnight colored remains which overpowered any innocent hues. I closed my eyes and wished on the brightest star I saw. I yearned for everything to feel okay again.

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