A Better View

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

A Better View

As one who has often felt this need, and who has found refreshment in wild places, I attest to the recreational value of wilderness.” -George Aiken

Marie had called it quits for the day.  The constantly ringing office phone, the boss who had a seemingly endless pile of projects for her; and then there was the commute.  She rolled her eyes at the thought of her drive.  It wasn’t just the traffic; it was also the construction that had eliminated half the lanes for what she thought were pretty cosmetic upgrades.  Marie was done.  She needed an escape.  She only had so many vacation days left but her mental health demanded that she take one.

Thus, early on Tuesday morning, Marie climbed into her car and revved up the engine.  Her normal business attire had been shirked for shorts, tank top, and shades.  The cup of coffee that she usually guzzled down by eight a.m. had been replaced with a bottle of water.  She had already sent an e-mail to her boss that something had come up and she wouldn’t be able to make it into the office.  Marie purposefully neglected informing him of the details.  Vacations were meant to be taken, she decided.  She’d worry about the consequences some other time.

Driving down the interstate, she giggled at the rows of cars.  They were all heading towards downtown while she was driving speedily in the other direction.  As the vehicles became less and less frequent, the mountains in the distance grew closer.  Even on the warm sunny morning, she could still see plenty of snow on the majestic peaks.  Marie’s car bounced and bumped along the gravel road.  An hour after she had left her house, she had arrived at the park of her choosing.

A cursory glance at the lot revealed only three cars.  Marie nodded in satisfaction.  That meant that the trails would be almost entirely clear and that the park was, in theory, open for her boot-clad feet.  She signed in, paid for her parking, and took herself and her backpack into the woods.  She left the real world and her cares behind with the car.

The longer she spent on the dirt path, the more life seemed to make sense.  What did it matter that the blind date from last week had been shockingly incapable of chewing with his mouth closed?  Who needed a successful date when there was a perfect waterfall that could sooth and relax her?  Did it matter how many voicemails were on her phone when there were chipmunks to chuckle at and watch as they skittered from tree to tree?

The petty everyday tasks and annoyances were put into their proper place.  Mighty trees that had withstood centuries passing and forest fires showed her that there was more to the world than a week’s “to-do” list.  The world kept turning, the trees kept growing, and the mountain snow would still melt and feed into the cascading rivers below.

As if to further punctuate the point, a doe scurried up the hillside.  It had no need for trails.  It leapt, bounded, and bounced between the trees and over any rocks in its way.  The doe stopped for a moment on the path.  It glanced calmly at Marie, blinking once, and then twice.  Marie wanted to step forward and get a closer at the animal, but she knew it would dart away.  The two female creatures stood there for a minute, each measuring up the other.  The doe’s ears turned up the hillside, obviously aware of something.  Just like that, the doe changed course and took off up the mountain.  Marie gave the doe the thumbs up gesture as it left.

The two hour hike gave way to a breathtaking view.  The sound of waterfalls had died down.  Marie wondered just what this lake was going to look like.  Then it came into view.  “Holy…”, was all Marie could manage to say.  In front of her was a panoramic view of a dozen peaks.  The lake, having thawed just recently, lay cool and calm with small chunks of snow dotting the surface.  The white covering still dominated the terrain.  That didn’t stop the rocks from trying to break through.  As the sun glistened in the clear blue sky, Marie beamed in response.  She spread out on a giant rock and lay down, using her pack as a pillow.

Bring on the sun, bring on the warmth, bring on the freckles, Marie thought to herself.  This is the life for me.  Marie knew the scene was too perfect to last.  She refused to acknowledge that truth quite yet.  Her batteries simply needed a recharge and the best power source in the galaxy was happily obliging.  With sunglasses on her face and heat waves rippling off her skin, all was well with the world.

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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