The afternoon was ripe with excitement and the car was stuffed like an over-packed linen drawer. The drive would be the worst part, and to be honest I was not looking forward to it. I tried to think positively of the ever wrapping and winding bends that gave birth to heat stricken mirages on the open road, and it was the window seat that saved me. With a parent in each seat at the front of the car, I was left to my thoughts in the back. I glanced out at the racing colonies of dead grass and weeds that plagued the eternity before me. So minutely did the lines on the pavement wobble and warp in the distance, and I left it to my imagination to save what thread of interest I had left. I needed distractions to keep myself from getting car sick, and the inner squirming child that sat dormant in the recesses of my mind was stirring. I watched as cars zoomed past, housing serious and gloomy faces as they went. I wondered why these people were so sullen, and then I tried to imagine what had happened to them that made them so downcast. I was not sure, and I would never come to know.
HONORABLE MENTION 2014 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
We began to pass magnificently tall trees that created a shady awning from the sun, and I thought of how the cars must look like an invisible-legged ants if I could look down on them from the sky. I imagined seeing a dinosaur swimming between tree trunks and suddenly baring its head above the tree line, and then diving back into the immensely packed bushels of leaves. The last curve of the road swayed me in one last attempt to victimize my stomach, and my daydream was over. We had finally entered the little town called Tahoe, California.
A picture of the world never prepares one for how intensely beautiful the world truly is, and this was no exception. So, when I finally turned the corner of the bend to see Lake Tahoe after a year of its shimmering grace embedded into my memory, the image did not do it justice. It was the mixtures of soft and deep blues, coalescing into one harmonious palette, that captivated what little oxygen was left in my lungs due to the high elevation. The air was so light in your lungs that it made one cherish every cloud it could muster. It amazes me, the world I live in, that such majesties exist.
My family and I pulled up to the lake and at long last I was free of the car. The sun was taking its leave in a beautiful array of colors, blinding us, and a rumbling thunderstorm roared at our backs. It was as though two universes were colliding. Just as the clouds chased away the sun the silence of the lake chased away the chaos in my head. I was so accustomed to living each day in a busy city, with busy cars, and busy people that my mind froze itself when confronted with the peace. Here, I did not have society echoing judgments or pressures into my head. Nature is honest and it is silent, and it is peaceful. So every once in a while, in my small and chaotic teenage life, I like to unplug myself from reality and go to the silent lake. Where I will listen to the silence and remember the quiet trees that surrounded that beautiful, muted, blue lake and I will remember what it is to feel peace.
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