By Rachel Burkum
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t deepened the soul and stretched the heart – staring into that shimmering sea. Contained within walls of weather-polished stones, it was but a speck, when side-by-side with the world. But here, in the solitude of shady elms, it was a grand escape.
Sitting on that moss-covered rock, my skin would tingle as fragments of sunlight found their way through the branches above. The lily pads danced under my touch, their blossoms so soft and fragrant. Songbirds serenaded me – me, their sole audience.
These were the memories that drifted through my mind as I once again knelt beside the enchanting pond. I thought I had outgrown the tantalizing dreams of my imagination when I left my grandmother’s so many years ago. But now I realized the childish play wasn’t that at all. It was a simple gift from God – a gift that I still possessed.
I smiled as I heard the song birds above my head, and I wondered for a moment if perhaps they were of the same family that had greeted me as a child. The moss felt the same under my fingertips and the smell of damp earth was familiar to my nostrils.
Only a short walk from the cottage, it didn’t seem possible that this place could feel so very far from anything else. But being here, I could get completely lost. The outside world simply didn’t matter anymore.
Spending hours on end here as a child, one might think I would have eventually grown bored. But the excitement never waned – not even now after so many years away.
This time though, I wasn’t alone. I drew from my bag a writing tablet and pencil. Pulling my legs up further onto the rock, my eyes stared down into the never-ending pool. My senses were alive again, every breath filled with the inspiration I’d sought.
My pencil scribbled the sights, sounds and smells that overwhelmed me. This time…this visit…I realized the gift I carried with me. God had given me a haven that had awakened my imagination. And He had given me words with which to express everything I saw and felt.
As a child, this exquisite hideaway had been a playground. Now it would be my office. My daydreams would no longer remain trapped in my mind, but they would be written – painted for the world to experience alongside me.