It takes a special presence of mind to do what our second place author did during their trip to the backcountry with Rock-N-Water. This anonymous author listened, was present in-the-moment and wrote down the small but meaningful conversations heard in the backcountry. Here’s our second place winning entry in the 2015 Rock-N-Water writing contest.
“When I was younger I often imagined what it’d be like to meet God. I had the idea it would be like your grandparents arriving early Christmas morning with a glow on their faces and a warm embrace to collect. I’ve accepted, as time went, that I would never be able to compare such an encounter to something so human. Still, I think of it frequently. I imagine white light and feeling so impossibly small. God, sitting with his knees to his chest on a grand, golden throne; me, sitting on the tip of his finger, staring speechlessly as he holds me up to eye level. He will know, as he has always known, every thought racing through my little head, and he will wait until I have the courage to say ‘Thank you.’ Then he’ll smile, I imagine God smiling, and he’ll look at me in such a way that will make me weep for years. We will have that much time at our disposal. That’s all I have so far, but looking out into this sea of trees, I realize I feel small now and I can’t seem to understand how anyone could doubt such a divine existence. I can’t say if this was all made for us for delight or for some sort of acceptance exercise, you know, accepting that we are small, but I can say that I will never tire of this view. That, I know I am sure of. I’m sorry. I have this terrible tendency to babble when in actuality, I have no idea what I’m even trying to say. It’s amazing, it’s just amazing.”
A silence settles as the girl catches her breath. The man standing next to her frowns in his contemplation. Unable to properly express his gratitude for the girl’s sharing of her speculation, he asks her a simple question.
“So you like it here?”
“Yea, I like it.”
They laugh lightly at the understatement made in the pink light of evening. The moment’s sheerness is almost surreal. The man sighs and the moment passes.
“I like it too. Don’t be late for dinner, alright?”
The girl nods as the man walks away, leaving her alone with the trees and incoming night wind. She takes her gloves out from her jacket and watches as the sky turns from pink to purple to black. From a distance, the word dinner echoes until it stops its ringing at her ears. She turns to head for dinner, but looks back once more to look at the never ending rows of tree silhouettes. Tilting her head back, she looks to the sky, which now glows with the help of its moon and all its stars. As she stares she feels impossibly small. Her nose is cold, and her stomach empty, but she knows, soon, she will be well fed and warm. She breathes in the cold air and exhales a whisper. ‘Thank you.’