Writing 101 Challenge #2: Where would you go right now?
We’re all drawn to certain places. If you had the power to get somewhere — anywhere — where would you go right now? For your twist, focus on building a setting description.
Even at two hours away, it seemed like you could see back to the Valley. After a steep climb that is only really accessible by foot or mountain bike, you come to a tiny opening of trees right on the edge of the mountain top. It’s a place where I have sat for hours. Where your soul has room to breath.
We would spend time most summers in the mountains, getting away from the heat of Phoenix. One of my favorite things to do there was to go exploring. But the best part about exploring there, was that it was just me and my dad. We would be gone for hours, off exploring one dirt road or another on his mountain bike. Sometimes we’d crash it as we took a corner too fast and skid out on some loose rocks. We’d have to stash it behind a bush just off the trail, hobble back to the campsite half bloodied, get cleaned up, then go back and get the motorcycle with the trailer. But that danger is what made it fun.
The best part though, was always going up to “our spot”. It was a place way back in the woods off several dirt roads. The last one being more like a trail, it just looked like it dead-ended into what we’d call a “holler” here in the South…the small valley the mountain makes as it curves around. But if you looked closely, you could see off to your right another trail going almost straight up.
I would hold on tight and close my eyes as I rode behind my dad on his orange mountain bike. And he would back it up against the far wall of the mountain to get a running start at the climb. It would always feel like we were about to go over backwards, and then he’d give it just a little more gas and we’d finally reach the top. We’d climb off the bike and walk over a few feet to the edge, pull up a log and just sit there. We’d sit there for what seemed like hours, just looking out over the mountains, the hills, and down to a valley, you could see for miles and miles. It was always so peaceful up there too, quiet, far above everything else.
When you’re there, you feel like you can truly breath for the first time. Not just your lunges, but your soul has the space it needs to expand, to relax, and to just be. Your mind can float off to dreams that are otherwise pushed to the side in the loud busyness of the day to day. And those dreams begin to come alive. You remember things that really matter to you, things you have let slide in the demands of the urgent. Things you decide are more important to take a back burner in your life. Relationships are discussed, futures are contemplated, and stories from the past are told. It is a place where I am above the clouds yet never more completely grounded.
It is a place where I need no directions to get to, even though it’s been more than a decade since my last visit, I’m sure it would call to my heart. It’s a place that is so deeply a part of me, it’s one of the places where I really feel at home, and one of the few places my heart actually aches to return to. If I could go anywhere, it would be that mountain side.