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And the blade of grass trickled through the ever-racing stream.

Pexels/Matthias Cooper

Gently down the road and across the street from Pilsner’s Candy Shoppe lay Panther Lake Park. Families from all across town make their way here on the warm summer days to enjoy a brief moment of pleasure lying in the sun’s gleam. Many take out their sails and spend their afternoon fishing or enjoying a book with their feet dipped into the water. Emeryson is one of the many few who prefers to sit within the shade, her parasol laying on the ground beside her, and her favorite book, The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini sat ruffled on her lap, its bookmark tucked snuggly between chapters 24 and 25. Emeryson sat, her head leaning against her favorite big oak—whose trunk formed a crevice to perfectly caress Emeryson’s head allowing her to sit back and look forward at the children playing with their toy boats. She had worn her new sunglasses that covered the majority of her eyes and were the perfect one-way mirror for all who looked at them.

Emeryson preferred to people-watch on days like this. Her elegant composure—as beautiful as the sun’s reflection on the water—was not comparable to the other women at the park that day. Their homely appearance made Emeryson’s beauty unmissable, a perfect trap for the gentlemen who walked past hand-in-hand with their dates. The men often lost focus on what was important to try and steal a glance over at her, only to be met with a slap on the face by their now angry partner. Emeryson chuckled each time and counted three that day. Three men who she deemed would be sleeping on the couch later that night. The children that ran by chasing their frisbees and baseballs that caught wind and flew far over their heads paid no mind to Emeryson, their innocence piqued her interest, remembering her own happy memories made at this very park only a few years back.

Feeling a bit too warm, Emeryson stood up and made her way over to the lake to sit at its edge. Removing her sandals, she dipped her feet into the water, and she felt a rush of pleasure spread from the tip of her toes to the top of her forehead. Sitting almost as still as the water beside her, Emeryson closed her eyes and listened. In her solitude, she focused on the sounds of the Earth around her. The bristling wind made its presence known, teasing her ears as it flew by. The scorching rays of the sun seared her skin as it forced its way upon her pores. But most importantly, she listened to the races happening behind her, to the hoard of others making their way across the park, each person with their own story, each with their own mission. This stream of people overpowered the calm nature of the park, but Emeryson remained within her trance. She was but a blade of grass in this big world, being guided by her own wind and pushed in the direction of neutrality and elegance.
Emeryson’s mother always taught her the importance of these moments. To return upon the Earth that has fed and housed us. That has asked us for nothing but respect, and has continued providing even after that boundary had been erased. Her mother was very philosophical, up until the very moment she herself was pushed past her boundaries. That was on this very day, two years ago. Her memory only existed in the mind of Emeryson. Even her father ceased to remember anything about his wife. His dementia had fully laid siege to the walls of his mind, removing all aspects of what once made him whole. Emeryson chose to bar these thoughts from her mind, realizing she was witnessing her fate before her eyes.

Emeryson stood up after that brief moment, made her way back to her initial sitting spot, picked up her belongings, and made her way gently down the road, across the street from Pilsners Candy store and in the direction of the wind. She never looked back, finally merging herself with that hoard of people and into the chaos of the ever-racing stream.

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Stephen Gangi, Managing Editor
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