An afternoon trip to the National Seashore with a view of Pensacola Beach in the distance. The cool breeze kept the heat at bay and stray notes from the music being played from the other side of the bridge carried to our ears. The small bank made for a wonderful getaway from the city of Pensacola. As we walked along, we found a straw hat among the brambles. We decided to spruce it up with some of the thousands of flowers growing along the treeline nearby.
This is another one of those 300-500 word assignments from my Geography class. I stayed a little more within the parameters of the assignment here, but I think its still worthy of sharing.
Drive about ten miles north miles of Milton, Florida. Take a few turns deeper into the country which leads you to a dirt road that winds around so many times that you would lose your bearing without a compass. The road gets rougher, bumpier and narrower as you follow it and the forest begins to close in around you. Finally, when it is impossible to continue driving, continue on foot down what has become a mere trail. As you approach your destination, you begin to hear a faint trickling of shallow water that permeates the hum of insects and the singing of birds that engulfs the forest. Large cypress trees, live oaks and pine trees form a thick canopy above and watch your step, because their large roots push up from the ground beneath your feet. As you follow the sound of the water, the dark soil gives way to sand and before you is a large sandbar leading down to a mild creek.
According to your compass, the creek is flowing south at a moderate pace. You take your shoes off and dip your toes in. The water is refreshingly cold after a walk in the hot and humid forest. Fallen trees jet up from the water and give you a pleasant place to sit as the current flows gently past you. The floor of the creek is made of small, smooth stones embedded in the soft silt and sand. The sandbar appears to have been created from these stones’ erosion over years and years of gentle creek flow.
Moving against the current, you wade north through waist high water and shortly you are face to face with a tall, orange, clay cliff. A short climb would be fun. As you approach the cliff, your feet sink deep into the wet clay just under the water’s surface. The clay is smooth and not quite solid as you begin to scale the cliff. Your hands and feet begin to slide downward the longer you stay in one place so you must continue to go up. When you reach the top, you are pleasantly surprised by a large blueberry patch filled with large, ripe berries ready to be eaten. After a nice snack after your climb, it’s time to return to the creek. You look for a section of cliff with the gentlest slope to ease your way back to the water. The closer to the water you are, the more slippery it gets. Then your feet reach the water and you sink in past your ankles.
At that moment, after your exertions in climbing and descending the tall and slippery cliff, you cool off by jumping headlong into the clear, crisp water and floating downstream to your original location at the sandbar. Next to you, you notice a few minnows riding the current and wonder if there are bigger fish lingering in the deeper eddies along the creek. A small turtle rushes underneath you and hides in the shadowy edge. The singing of the birds is in a peaceful harmony with the humming of bumble bees and the underscore of the creek’s gentle trickle.
A soul buried by the weight of the world sees chaos and calamity in every direction.Watching headlines, tacking on more strife and filling the head with no room for reflection.
The pain in the eyes on the TV screen pierces you through as you realize theres nothing you can do, but you cling to the feeling you can fix it all, if only you could convince Congress to pass this week’s law.
And anger builds at the world that surrounds you, and you feel so trapped by the circumstances that bound you.
Then you STOP! Shut up and breathe, and you notice all the things to which you, yourself cleave. Then you stand convicted of your own humanity and you know fully well this is the reason for all insanity.
The compulsive brain chatter that dominates your life, you’ve come to realize is the cause of all strife.
So how do we fix the world? Start from within. When we realize all of this, real change can begin.
This is what became of my 300-500 word Physical Geography assignment about a personal experience of severe weather…
It was early September of 2004. I was a twelve year old just beginning the seventh grade at DanMcCartyMiddle School. My school was located in what my fellow students and I called the “armpit” of Fort Pierce,Florida. My family and I lived in the late twentieth century “city” of Port St. Lucie just thirty minutes north. Located in St.Lucie County, Port St. Lucie was marked by the late housing boom of the early 2000s and was described by my father, a project manager with a housing construction company, as the “fastest growing city in the state and probably the nation.” Just three years before the great housing market collapse, Port St. Lucie’s surface appearance was that of a gleaming model of the suburban lifestyle, brimming with potential. Block by block, the city bloomed of strip malls, grocery stores, and parking lots. New subdivisions were being constructed along one of the three major drags that made up Port St. Lucie. The residential zones that filled in between the main boulevards made up the three major neighborhoods of Port St. Lucie and my family and I lived right in the middle sector.
Directly east of our cookie cutter, four bedroom home’s backyard, was Hutchinson Island. The long barrier island was Port St. Lucie’s only access to the Atlantic coast, and our only retreat from the monotony of three lane boulevards and poorly planned stoplights. The environment of the island, that of layers of sand dunes, mangrove swamps and palmetto trees, was eclipsed by a row of empty, concrete high rises.
It was a late evening on a Friday, when I turned on the TV and saw the shocking news that a Category 4 Hurricane named Frances was headed directly toward the dot on theFlorida map labeled Port St. Lucie. The great, swirling mass on the radar was on a direct collision course with Hutchinson Island, and my new town. Each day the image on the radar portrayed the great eye moving closer and closer to our little dot, and each day preparations for the storm were gaining ground on land.
The day came when the schools closed down and the storm was expected in the next forty-eight hours. By then, the hurricane had crossed slowly over several islands and had begun to weaken. Because of this cut off of warm water, the storm’s intensity decreased to a category 2. However, with a top sustained wind of 105, the storm was still destined to be quite dangerous and with a concerned father, every stop was pulled to ensure the safety of the home and family which it contained. The windows and glass doors were boarded; the trees and bushes in the yard had been trimmed to complete austerity and the patio furniture was thrown into the pool.
We gathered in the living room the morning of the big hit, and we could already hear the gusts that precluded the onset of the storm. The radar on the screen showed the outer rain bands preparing to wipe across southFlorida. As they day progressed, and the large outer wall of the storm inched closer to landfall, the rain and winds began to pick up speed. Due to the way our screened back patio was positioned in relation to a wall of the house and a sturdy wooden fence, we were able to sit down and watch the show. We watched the high winds whip through the screen and watched a squirrel hold on to the fence for dear life. The day slowly faded into night, and the gusts continued to get stronger and louder, large debris flew overhead and the rain filled the pool to the very brim. Thunder and lightning were running rampant across the sky, and with one strike of lightning and a blue flash, everything went dark. My parents decided soon after, that it was time for us to go to sleep. Candles were lit, flashlights distributed and all three of us girls were sent to bed. As the winds constantly howled, and debris slapped against my window, sleep was nearly impossible to find. I got up and found my mother in the living room, eyes glued to the tiny TV hooked to our small generator. I told her I couldn’t sleep and we sat on the couch together as the eye wall was making its final approach to land.
CRASH! From my parents bedroom came a huge cacophony of cracking wood, and pieces of shattered ceiling hitting the tile. We rushed to see what happened and saw a giant hole in the ceiling, through which rain, debris and wind came rushing through. The ceiling around the hole appeared to pulse and breathe with every new gust of wind. A sense of panic swept over me. It was exactly like the stories I’d seen on the Weather Channel happening right before my eyes. Were the extremely high winds pouring through the roof of our home going to rapidly change the air pressure inside causing the roof to lift right off? As my mother ripped me from the scene, I could see the bulging ceiling dipping lower and lower with every blast. I was sure that was it, and then the winds lessened and subsided.
We were now in the eye of the storm. My dad burst outside to check the damage, and I followed close behind. Stepping outside, it was calm, yet intense. The still air around me seemed to weigh down on my body and I looked up and I could see the stars. My mother swept me back inside and made me go to bed, before I could take in anymore of the eeriness around me. I slipped back into my sheets and listened, but heard no wind or rain. I knew the onslaught would begin again and the battering of Florida would continue, but I seized the quiet moment to drift to sleep and see what would become of my house, neighborhood and town in the morning.
The evening news spills onto the screen, and our eyes are fixed to the red, white and blue scheme.
A sharp looking gent, and a smartly dressed lady address us from the desk, not in the least bit shady.
Shady like the parent’s scandels they fail to report, or how that sharp looking gent cuts off the dissenter’s retort.
Where does journalism end and propaganda begin? Well they don’t care too much when the ratings come in.
But all is well if we blindly believe. They look so trustworthy, why would they decieve?
The time has come for us to open our eyes and leave behind our complacency with lies.
With our eyes wired shut, they can rule the nation, when they’ve got us convinced to be okay with our station.
Chasing after a dream we’re convinced is real, they distract us from demanding a new, new deal.
When puppets and pundits pass their spin as the truth, its easy to assume they can win over the youth.
But we have the net and the world at our command, so now its time to start making a stand.
So let’s take to the streets and let them know we’re here, and demand a real voice this election year.
Unplug yourself from the propaganda machine, or forever be a slave to your TV screen.
I hate it when the thoughts come
Blissful thoughts, Wishful thoughts
Thoughts that make my spirits soar, thoughts that make me wish for more
They come to me during day
Beaming thoughts, Gleaming thoughts
Thoughts that fill me up with joy, images I shan’t enjoy
They haunt me in the night time
Hopeful thoughts, Joyful thoughts
Of slight possibilities that won’t become realities.
Millie is finally over. It’s kinda sad but the next show is going to be my absolute favorite. I’m so excited to try out for my dream role. I’ve wanted to be Maria Rainer ever since I’ve loved musicals.
It was weird being a senior tonight. Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve waited to hear what madden had to say about me when he recognized me in front of the cast. And now it has happened. I mean it isn’t the last one he’ll give for me. But it was very emotional. It was the culmination of four years of fall shows and four years of waiting and wondering…