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In Flight
Forced Smiles
Happy Oblivion
Ducking Destiny
Chance of Showers
Chance Encounters
The Thinking Dog
The Race
Flight of the Ostrich
Monster Under My Bed
The Rose Garden
Window Shopping
Dramatic Romances
Musings on Nature
A Day at School
The Holy Light
A Rainy Night


The Roller Coaster
The Purse
Sammy's Lesson
The Legend of the Hungry Dragon
Spirits in the Night


My Philosophy of Life
Five Scholarship Questions
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois
Prophets for God
My Service Project (1999-2000)
My Service Project (1997-1998)
The Beauty of the Forest
Reaching Beyond

The Pastry Menace
A College Just for You!
The Rights of Plants

Literary Analyses
Saving Harry:  Clearing the Controversy Over Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Essays on Wuthering Heights
The Creature in Frankenstein and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
Edna's Decision in The Awakening
Character Comparison in Kate Chopin's The Awakening
Why The Chosen?

Research Papers
Race, Norms, and the Sidewalk
Analytical Exercise
The Validity of Comparing Governments
The British System: Legal-Rational Or Traditional?
The Importance of Framing
Madison on Factions
Spirituality and the Brain
Sea Water and Conductivity

Clinic Violence: A "Moral" Way to Bring About Change?
Graduation Speech
The Call to Relationship
Mark Twain Speaks Again (original version)
Mark Twain Speaks Again (shortened version)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Year 2000
Hunting for Sport?

Mercury Spill Exercise
Chocolate Feature Exercise
Character Sketch
Reaction Story
Aspiring Actress Profile
"Shark Attack" Exercise
Villa Maria Academy Hosts Diversity Panel

Coastal Vacation

The Beauty of the Forest

The air grows perceptibly quieter as you near a forest, as if respectful of the great sanctuary it embraces. The trees and leaves sway slowly in soft breezes, weaving themselves into an incredibly complex tapestry of bold, rustic colors. From a distance the colors of leaves and trunks and moss and weeds blend so well that you, observing them, do not notice when you stop admiring the green and go into raptures over the orange.

The scent of newly fallen rain wafts toward you as you approach the trees. The smell of earth and sap and life all around you is almost tangible to the point where you can taste it, a tangy and intoxicating food such as the gods might eat.

The sweet chirps of songbirds greet your ears when strolling through the woods. If you listen closely you might pick up the rustles of small animals in the underbrush. The sounds come together to make a calm, soothing symphony that recalls the beginning, when music like this was the only thing to be heard.

It takes only a touch then to fully become one with your serene surroundings. Maybe if you run your fingers through the soft earth you will understand how so seemingly simple and humble a substance can support all life. Maybe if you only feel the dewy petals of a wildflower you can learn the secret of how to keep the planet as perfect as that blossom for all eternity. Perhaps if you place your hand on the rough bark of a tree some of that spirit that pervades the forest, that you feel is there inside but is just out of your grasp, will become a part of you forever. All seems possible at such a moment.

To leave behind this ancestral beauty to return to the modern world is a great tragedy, but if you are lucky you will take with you a little of that peace found so easily among the trees. This great gift of the forest is one that never leaves us.

Copyright © 2002 Colleen Fischer | Last updated October 7, 2002