Wednesday, November 23, 2011

KekahJ Week 79: Oasis


Picture 1

Picture 2

KekahJ's Choice: Picture 2



The sun was hot on their backs as they picked their way through the dense foliage. The morning fog that had kept them cool all morning had finally burned up and disappeared. Since then the day had grown steadily warmer until it was now almost sweltering. Now that the sun was out in full force, they found themselves slowly removing the layers of clothing that had shielded them from the early morning chill.

They stopped, breathing heavily as they pulled out their water bottles and took long draws from them, hands on hips as they squinted in the sun. After a few moments they decided to continue, the promise of what lay ahead fueling their steps.

It wasn’t long before the sweat began to fall, pooling in dark circles at the smalls of their backs and behind their knees. They wiped it from their eyes and pushed forward.

Looking ahead, they searched for any sign of relief, the air rippling in the heat. Stopping again, they emptied their water bottles, finishing the last drops but still wanting more. Now it was even more crucial that they reach their destination.

They continued on, relentless in the pursuit of their goal. Water bottles drained, sweat drenched, and tired, they marched on, slashing through the underbrush.

They had nearly given up, were contemplating turning back, when they stopped and looked at each other, grinning. They sensed it before they saw it. It was as if the whole atmosphere had changed. The heat dissipated, if only by a fraction and, as they broke through one last layer of underbrush they saw it. It was such a welcome sight they almost didn’t believe their eyes.

Suddenly oblivious to their parched tongues and the oppressive heat, they ran towards it. The air was distinctly cooler the closer they got until by the time they reached the water’s edge they had forgotten the heat that had been so all consuming only moments before.

Laughing, they stripped down, unconcerned with where their discarded clothing landed as they tossed it behind them in their haste to reach the water. With one final leap, they plunged into the icy water, the breath forced from their lungs by the impact. Surfacing, they gasped like fish out of water, splashing in the cool, almost icy, water.

Bobbing up and down, they moved through the water, bodies sleek and smooth. They swam to where the water fed into the pool. Underneath the waterfall was a large, flat rock. The surface was worn smooth from the relentless pounding of the water and a shallow bowl had formed. It was the perfect place to sit. If they sat forward they could see all around the entire pool, and if they leaned their heads back, the cool water ran down their necks and backs, causing them to gasp and laugh again.

They swam and splashed until their stomachs reminded them it was time for lunch. Climbing out of the water, they dressed and spread their lunch out on a large flat rock. Before they ate, they climbed up on the smooth rocks to the top of the waterfall where they dipped their water bottles into the cool stream of water that cascaded down to the pool below. They drank and refilled several times, relishing in the taste of the cool, clean water.

As they ate, they stretched out on the rocks, letting the sun dry and warm them again. It was amazing how the sun that had been their enemy only a short time ago now provided welcome light and warmth to their chilled skin.

Neither of them wanted to think about how this would be their last trip here. The last time they’d enjoy this place. After this day both of their lives would change forever. Neither of them knew what the future would bring, the only thing either of them knew for sure was that they had this moment together, this moment in their private oasis to bask in the sun and revel in the sweet, cold water.