With0ut the resistance of the wind, the sapling would never have developed the strength to become the mighty oak.  These trees, of lofty indomitability, hold hands with a fast-moving river along a slow-moving road. A rural way, fashioned from the dirt of dusty days, provides for endless proclivity. And yet, she needs hence to go. These crying skies taunting her, with cloudy volition treading here, she feels her aim not secure, upon this woody road. But now, this undeciphered mud that spanks her heart of  buttered blood, she feeds her hungry wise to mark her budding dream. Whilst a plunging buoyant sun paints nature’s timeless topiary.  

   
And so she’s driving home. Away from the city it’s really quite pretty, with massive trees flanking her pastoral lane. Sometimes, she notices them when she has the time. But driving was on her mind. And always the same length and always alone. Like she always did…you know.  And accompanying her was her usual self-talk along the way. ‘I increased my pay cheque…another day…once again, an achievement..right?’ Right!..one needs to stay in the game?… she sighed a massive why? …..but I would rather paint…really…yes, I would love to paint while sipping a glass of wine?’  And yet, still she had to drive…while sturdy ancient oaks watched her ride.

 
For awhile now, she has been drawing herself this way, over a road that knows her dreamy diary. She has rambled far in an amenable car. But her passion has faded to shades of gray. So minding her mental movies of moments missed of yore, she croons for hardihood from behind closed doors. But still compelled..compelled you know, she drinks the juice of not alive; a smokey broth of  her shrouded life. So limp with chagrin, weary, disheartened and still alone, she sluices amid fool’s grit for (I get it!) gold! ‘Really…who am I? Unwilling? And why? All I want to do is paint things divine.. or at least try…yes, I would love to paint the rest of my life!’ She thought of her home beyond a hill…or was it just a house? A box of thoughts of yesterdays…what’s that all about?’ While a rippling wash, on her flank, fluxed by the brush.

 
‘ I am strong, right? I’m happy with my life,’ she cried a lie, not knowing why? Too often, the estuary of others’ artifice tried to flush her down the roiling falls of funk. But she would resist this din of arrant malcontent that wished to ping her pang of utter wretchedness. And still, she tried to steer this slippery slope of mixed veneer. Then held a cup to catch her tears. ‘Why?’ she pined for days to paint her life’s laughing kaleidoscope . But no, still more drawl: ‘It  would be easier to forget these flights of fancy, for…. nothing at all. Just float from today. Who would know? I would know…?’She ached for an etcher’s style to carve her smile in stone.

 
”To heed my needs….if not, drown my pain I suppose?’ Her fresco face daubed with tears, bored her from the rearview mirror. Nonetheless, overhead, a storm was fast approaching now. ‘Rainbow ice cream please, two scoops, and oh, I’ll take a cone.’ She longed to breathe a gusting gale of love. While before her, a woeful hill proclaimed a bleary haze resounding down. Blindly she  bumbled. And while milking her poise to fill a palette of empty hearty courage jugs, she slid down a giddy, bumpy, unctuous, bluff.  

 
The sky burnished the night with snapping barbs of cyclonic light, chased by guttural gravelly resonance. Then, an energized deluge exploded the ground. The storm exhaled a fierce design; arching old oaks modified. And instantly…she could not see around! Her wipers, inundated by cascading rain, labored with perfect inanity. Resolutely, she clasped the steering wheel to render her mired course, which quickly became nebulous, or worse? While writhing beneath her, like a viper earthen murky marshy porridge, the road turned to fudge. Her mind, marooned in Lake Lassitude, swam hard for Isle Gratitude. While her car griped and groaned; it, not so willing anymore! Until finally, on a mountain, in the night, the wet and the cold….she left the road!

 
It wasn’t all smooth. Her car careened, twirled, twisted, slid, and slopped its way down a viscous precipice. All she could see was a whirling dervish of dancing oaks whizzing fast outside. The rest were abstract streaks of shady befuddlement, with a dash of smudged shrubbery beside….when CRUNCH!, BANG! SNAP!, SCRAPE!, THUMP!,..and then…SWOOOSH,… and…..SPLASH!! The river now…was her map! Turbulently, the current, like a hollow aqua serpentine, ravenously devoured her car. Fear gripped her like a frozen vice welded to her heart. She was paralyzed! Inaction  swallowed her calm. She had to breathe… she tried to breath…normally….but not for long. She was now completely submerged! With her pain! Nothing… inside her car! Except a benumbing auto coffin wrangling a rising river curtain falling in reverse. And there, she was served! Whence a sinking dawn upon her inky death. She sensed a slippery goo…coo from a shady river bed. Where bared a decrepit crypt falling to it’s drowning depth. Nothing she found about this sludgy bog, but a watery eulogy shriveling on a liquid languid ear. And so thus disposed, midst its flinty murky knit, the river drew it’s algae coated bed spread it did. And there she was, donned with a damning veil of mucid lace, to waste her life in flooded fear.

  
Then ancient whispers of mighty oaks she heard: Do nothing, and you remain timorously obscure, with nothing left to give. Opportunities come to those who are not afraid to swim. Act now, my child, imbue yourself, with the current of liveliness. Act now… to paint your life again.

   
 She wanted to live; but she had no wish to let the river in.  To be closer to it; to be..in it; and..to have to swim? To risk the cold; wet; possibly drown; never to be found, taxed her temerity. But not to act: meant a still stale life of a thirsty squirt…never to be seen!  And so with that, she took a deep breath, cleared her muddied eyes,…and let the river in.

  
A rushing watercolor glazed over her life. Instant shock sprinted across her body foraging for her mind! The sudden gush of freezing river water, like liquid mania , tackled her omnipresently! Then, the coiling current, vivaciously, fondled her with unapologetic fortitude, numbing her thinking head dead. The river, once out there, was now here!! Her brain instantly rebooted; instinct troubleshooted. And with thumping adrenaline, she thrust her self through an open submerged window. Where at once, she was engulfed in a swift moving current; now…she had to swim.

 
Panic flirted with her, and then quickly became promiscuous. She tried to get to the surface against a roping tide. And desperately, she needed to breathe. She stabbed to reach for a thirsting breath but panic pulled her back to bed. While the odd boulder screamed by her side. A near miss within this anemic scenery. Waterlogged logs brushed her legs, hinting of their berth in aqua graves. Would she lay here too? Now very weak, hypothermic, breathless, and alone, she considered her fate to just.. float beyond. When, SNAG! And altered drag. She had stopped in the river but the river did not..GAASSP! IINNHAALE!…her head was above the flood. Her minted breath of a novel life was stippled with her colored YES! Ardently, she drank from a lover’s cup this time . Nonetheless, she was grounded on something… this she knew. With her lungs still shivering, she learned to breathe again; then, took small time to apprehend what docked her in the cold. Behold! In this beck, she was called, to a massive root of an ancient sturdy oak.

 
Death chummed her spirit; but she brushed off any drift of letting go. Of her oak. Breathing again, she counted her thorns, while a ceaseless roiling current steeped her bones. But her anchor was slipping, and she knew she had to pluck herself from the craw of looming chaos. But she was spent, and almost let go, but needed to live. So facing raw exigencies, she clambered wooden ligneous seed, for higher lesser grime. In spite of the river’s countering to foil her colored life. Now, out of the wash and back to clay, she shadowed her route to a colossal tree…which wore a hollow laterally. Here she triumphed in falling through, to a spacious sylvan couch. Where directly she fell asleep to her soggy dreams: mopping gurgled screams from the floor of vacant help. Whilst a reposeful easing rush schmoozed with a brawny beaming bough.

 
Feinting bedlam, she now was abed.

 
Upon the morning, she roused to stir her daze. Ere now spate abated while the ardent sky was fair. She hearkened songs of nearby blazon birds out there. But nay, she fancied nothing but her petitioning greedy sleep. And, still quite frigid upon a carrying faint, she endeavored right away, to stand again. The brush prevailed. Though enervated, she could walk..but scarcely she could keep. Ergo, hence this opacity, she emerged to beckon bracken plants. And aloft beheld empyrean’s buoyant  hanging lamp. Where warming yonder yet, through to muddied whiskered hills, she descried a roaming vehicle still. ‘Some help at hand,’ she radiantly rasped, and lumbered on to learn her path. And, with herculean work, she scaled a slope to arrive upon a delivering…dirt. A road some would say. With bandaged zeal nursing bleached physique, she tasked her eyes to mindfully seize, advancing wheels on nigh. Where mediated on a journeyed coast, a vehicle found her side. And through its door, now ajar, appeared a weary man with lonely eyes…discovering her. To which she boarded blissfully without a single word.

 
He wrapped her future with his nurture near. And with warming eyes attending here, he drove his car to care. Close in wane, she drew her smile along the way. And yet, fortuitously, her injuries, of surface chafes and boulder scrapes and deeper pains ago, encouraged her to affirm, what is dear from what is woe. Where assuredly her printed miseries, were left to dye on the wider screen of hope. Nonetheless, she skirted death to kiss the cheek of now. And hitherto, delivered herself to consort her heart, to venture upon a man somehow. And he, firm hands upon the wheel, intended here, to fan these flames of fate. Whilst, waltzing with serendipity to woo her heart of praise. And all the while, tête-à-tête became the soup they shared. So hence, closer still,  became they dared. Then, on the final day of her harboring, he extended her a gift: a box arrayed of parchment suit, washed of ebullient brilliant hues, and adorned with trimming that couldn’t quit. And settled there atop the box, a cozy yellow ribbon corsage… hugging itself it was. Hence, amid an inner tissue womb, and eminently bearing  soon; a bundled art so priceless: A set of the plushest, most perfect, of Artist Paint-Brushes. 

 
Stunned with wonder, shock, hope, then joy, she embraced him explicitly while she cried. Yes, She Cried! But infused  with an unsterstanding of why this time. Long from amiss, they swam together now. And while embraced, they witnessed upon a morning blessed beach, purging tears washed by breaking waves, to bathe the sands of destiny. And additionally they viewed, shipwrecked fears smashed upon a loving reef, never to be seen again. And still, they gazed, while a kindling radiant sun applauded this their dawning place. And a coursing river washed the beds of mulish doubts, which conspire to counter the flow of love. While along it’s banks, waved smiling ancient elder boughs. Then, as if by quasi-accolades, every scene filled the frame to praise her art. Where a rainbow lay pregnant posing for her heart. Suddenly and tenderly…he whispered in her ear, “ Now you can paint the rest of your life.”  And softly yielded to her lips, a ripened kiss, that snuggled with her wise.

 
Two years later, she regaled in her revelry in a celebrated Art Gallery. Where she attended a coterie of admirers dining with their eyes, each savoring their own flavor of flattery for art design. Refreshing their minds. In particular, this tickled clique, found their gaze upon a proper painting of agreeable gleam. Whereby reflecting its own twinkling beam of a shiny modern frame. Yes, her art, featured here, before thee all,  upon the wall; augmented all!  And within audition, and slightly aback the full, she apprehended befriending tones parading about the room.  Their sensibilities, this coterie, conveyed an ardent decorous artery to feed her heart of good. While feelings of felicity further synthesised her promised land of  truth. And still, she embraced her delicious thanks, while she drank her fruitful sapor scene. When,”honey, where  you’ve been?,” a man blithely teased.  Nay, no other moment missed, he doubled to her grace, and bestowed upon her cheek a loving kiss to make. “The Gallery is closing, shall we be on our way,” he touched her shoulder tenderly.’ One more moment,” she winked. So lonely eyes, now beholden eyes, frolicked with his smile, then said, “I’ll be in the car.”  Then, whistled while he left.

  
The crowning call was delivered to all by the attending Gallery staff. Indulged patrons made for exits along discerning tethered paths. It was time to go. However, she lingered here to draw her seminal salt once more, whilst a fanning cluster of sated folks, near feint of lens, faded till they’re gone. One by one they parted from the painting party. Until another day. Then, lights went adrift neighboring, so she stood alone abreast the shade. But just long enough, to drink the view of a consecrated painting. Her painting, a revealing painting  revealed.  Tenuring its own baby lamp, as if to bless her with a sacred halo hat; it’s nascent amber charm dissolved the dark at last. Alighted here about  it’s glow, a fetching canvas stretches for her sight. Whilst omni hues fiddled with flittering seraphs, spooning her delight.  And this, her rising dawn, where brushed strokes danced upon a purposed cloth of hope. For exhibited on the wall, was a painting …of herself…sowing an ancient sapling oak.

 
Cleansing happy tears flowed freely into crystal Lake Repose.  And all the while, she assumed, her art enclosed by moody whims to brew…to better find her palette place, shades of gray, become a rainbow scene anew. Yet, time was pressing. So, she dried her eyes to find her waiting avenue.

 
But hark, there is more…. while exiting along her way to know, she heard a woodsy whisper burst. And drifting on a hollow timbre, this whispering incited her. To whence once she stood. So she stayed anon for yet another view. Where regard! There on the wall, her art displayed, but cradled with a gentle hug via different frame…a frame of ancient wood! And seemingly dispensed upon this sprouting gift perennially, came songs of silence smiling mother nature’s artistry. So, in her boat of awe, she oared her tears across her face, tears she earned along her way; when a wisely woodsy breeze confided her.

 
 Though the seeds of the mighty oaks finds their rooted claim, nothing is guaranteed. The saplings continuously shoot aloft, and quickly finds their mettle…but they survive you see. They adapt when they must…and so choose to Live invariably!  Indeed, the seedling, thrives to exist since it has so much to give! And, in the face of life’s contentions, it gains life’s directions.  So strength becomes it’s pay. Hence, within this building bliss so brushed by cosmos knowing strokes, there rises a flourishing, stalwart oak. Whence behold, it arrives astride, a venerable matured but ruddy courage. Whilst inside it finds a winsome aim to salute the living purged. And so, resolute, it convenes it’s  strength along it’s raising gate. To cultivate triumphantly!  That it may share in one more glorious witnessing, of a peerless painted way.

The gallery airy cleared where she found her lucid leave. Then ambled through the dark, to sight a trilling heart, midst a purring car at ease. And there, beholden eyes completed her. Where single roads of ore were they, now molten aye to cast their gold, to gild their dewy days. And proudly, they fix their rearing hands upon her pregnant bay. Hence, bearing smiles, of precious child,  to flood their lives with ecstasy. And noticeably, adorned betwixt the other’s ceding faces mirrored, mingled wiser minds uniting here. Indeed, souls replete of parents to be, they wore a motley lei entwined. And with love upon a blended route, they shared their bested bread to dine. Furthermore, they smelt their love upon the altar of their paramour. And firmly embraced, nay rootless lives… freely melt to won.  So with her gain, presently, she daubs her palette brush with life. Whilst her husband now, with loving eyes, pours for her, a glorious glass of wine.  

Randy Quickfall ღƪ(ˆ◡ˆ)ʃ ☼

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