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My Summers and The Woods

I can see the woods behind my home. I can smell the fresh, crisp taste of summer in the air. I can hear the birds chirping and I can see the bright sun throwing its rays across the blue sky, and into my backyard. I stand on my deck longing to be in the woods. Each summer day I would wake up just to smell the new day, and imagine what I would find in the woods.

The woods have a way of beckoning me. "Come in, Come in" they say. "Come and see what you are missing." The trees form a kind of doorway into a magnificent universe which awaits me. I run down two flights of stairs, out of my home, across the thick, plush grass and into my backyard. I gaze upwards and see tiny black specks flying in a V across the sky, and then, I see my mother, leaning out of my deck, warning me to return home before it gets dark. I wave quickly to her and dash away towards the woods.

I walk quickly through the grass, so thick that it hides my sneakers as I make my way to the gate of the woods. The tall trees loom before me; they wait, daring me to make my first move and venture into the woods.
The mud by the tree trunks are wet, from last night's rain. I notice this as I start walking to the edge of the forest. The wind rustles the leaves of the trees and swirls my hair all about my face. I struggle to move the branches out of the way, and push my hair from my eyes. Is the wind there to help the trees? Are they all trying to stop me from entering their home? They are taunting me, daring me to come in.

I keep walking... walking over old, brown leaves from last fall. They crunch as I step over them, so brittle they crumble with just one step. Each step I take sounds so terribly loud, and makes me feel like an intruder into this new world. I step over old, broken branches and small pebbles resting on a bed of brown earth. I pick up a branch, studying it closely. I notice a layer of green mold growing on one end, and on the other a quiet earthworm wrapping and twisting its way up to my fingers. I drop the branch and keep walking.

A squirrel suddenly lurches from behind a tree branch, and swings onto another tree right in front of me, as if taunting me, and daring me to venture in. Resting on her haunches, she studies me from the tree, her little arms held up high.
I am not afraid! I keep walking. The mud walkway between the trees creates an unmistakable path, on which I must walk, and one which I must follow. The mud walkway leads me down, farther down its slopes.

I can hear the silent brushing of the stream against the solid rocks just ahead. I can see the slight ripple of the water as the current takes each ripple downstream.
Where is she going? Where is she flowing? Should I follow it or should I jump over it and keep walking?

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