The environment that lay sprawled before me was possibly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The silence that whistled through the air greeted me unfamiliarly, as it should’ve, seeing we were strangers. A fleeting thought passed my brain, pondering how I came to be here, or what exactly “here” was. At the time, I gave this not an ounce of thought. I cared about being here; I cared about staying here. Soft scuttling under and between shrubbery gave away the presence of creatures besides myself. A small, white rabbit bounced blissfully to the edge of the sparkling lake in the center of the forest’s clearing. Disturbed ripples of water shrieked from the animal’s innocent sip. I took a few steps more, standing maybe one leap away from the brink of the water’s surface.
Reflected in the now calming pool was the greenery surrounding me. Tall towers of oak and birch stood proudly in a circle, as if forming a shield around the lake; it certainly was a place worth protecting.
Thinking back upon what memories I have, I am almost positive Mother Nature both heard the thought I had thought, and had a bitter hatred for me. Clouds blended in a color palette of black, gray, and darker gray rebelled against the pure blueness of the sky. In a time faster than I had to get out of the open space, a thick blanket of condensed water and air had formed above my head.
From the slightly off-centered cloud in the near middle, a current could be seen weaving its way around, looking for a way down. In a sudden panic, I rushed out into the lake. Yet, I failed to sink or even wade in the water. My bare feet felt the cool surface of the water as I padded to the space under the electricity. Ripples did not shoot out from under me, instead, the lake was calm and serene. I prepared myself for the pain that I would suffer to keep this place as it is. Go on, I urged the imminent lightning. Strike me, strike me and keep this paradise unharmed.
And if you didn’t already know, lightning is very amiable. It combed the air above me, surging through the air, searching for a target. The wicked hand of the clouds had found me, and I braced myself as pain shot through me, connected by the water droplets I had gotten on my ragged clothes from the harsh downpour that accompanied this weather. My knees gave way to the falling sensation I experienced a few seconds later. I fell beneath the surface, into the water.
And as I fell, surrounded by the cooling waters of the hidden oasis, I also jumped, with a fright, out of my sleep. That night was the night that that one scene replayed in my dreams for the sixth time. That night, also, or maybe you could call it morning, being it 3:14 in the AM, was the time I set out by myself to visit that place that haunted my dreams once more, for the second time in my waking hours.