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An Unexpected Light

by Sam Belkowitz

Stepping onto the trail, I anticipated what I had seen times before. There would be the creek, fields with horses, and the old cabin. When the weather is nice, I ride my bike along the path’s changing terrain of pavement, gravel, and dirt, but this day, I walked. It was a warm day mixed among days of cold air and a steady gray sky. Unfavorable humidity wafted through the air. It was an unnatural feeling for winter.

As I followed the familiar path, my eyes caught sight of a trail my soles had yet to stamp. I found myself walking through a collection of constant sycamore trees. Gusts of wind rustled the leaves that still remained, and barren trees creaked as they swayed. The sounds of passing cars were nearly exchanged for chirping birds hidden amid the forest.

At the base of a sycamore tree, looking up. Photo courtesy Sam Belkowitz.

I emerged on a field of coarse yellow grasses browning and mostly flattened down by time. The field’s length appeared endless, and small clouds had formed beneath the gray ceiling. From a certain angle looking down the forest-bordered field, it looked as though the clouds were accelerating and shrinking. It was a natural optical illusion of sorts. Three black and sizable birds brought attention to themselves soaring through the sky. As my eyes followed their aerial path, the birds moved in view of the sun, a glowing light bulb hidden behind a translucent lampshade of clouds. Despite the clouded sky, the sun seemed to have found its way to have a select few spotlights of rays shine through into view of those of us down below. It was a surprise to see something bright and unexpected on a day’s attempt to be dull.

The sun cracking through a gray winter sky. Photo courtesy Sam Belkowitz.

Before returning to the sycamores scattered among mundane shades of green, yellow, and brown soil, I welcomed one last gaze. The birds were chirping, and the clouds were shifting through the sky with the sun shining through.
Even the unpleasant days of nature have something good to offer. The distant whisper of cars served as a reminder of the existing world awaiting my return.

Sam Belkowitz is a fourth-year education studies major. He likes riding his bike around town and spending time outdoors. This is his first piece for GreenHawks Media, and it began life as an assignment for his nature writing class.

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