The Stream

It was just a stream, really. A sometimes babbling, sometimes rushing section of water that crashed over, around, and between the moss covered stones.

The bank was slippery, treacherous to climb most days that he went, the water much too cold to swim in unless during the height of summer, and the woods surrounding the clearing became terrifyingly spookier as twilight neared.

So why was he drawn here, day after day? He had not played here in his youth. He hadn’t even known of the nearby town’s existence until moving to Maine from New Mexico two years before, armed with a brand new teaching license and an offer to teach eighth grade math.

Quite frankly, the enveloping verdance and frequent rain showers unnerved the poor fellow. Yet day after day her left his classroom, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse one town over, grabbed his bag and bottled water, and, occasionally accompanied by the cat, , made his way through the field and down the path to a large, almost hollowed out stone. Here he would sit during all but the worst weather, protected by overhanging vegetation as he graded papers, wrote lesson plans, or just sat.

Little thoughts and one liners were jotted down. Characters and plot ideas were placed on note cards, and all of it was unceremoniously shoved into an ever growing binder.  The time passed, though his twilight unease did not, and the young man began to hear the wind’s whispers and see the flitting wings in his surroundings.

Though he was offered better paying jobs elsewhere throughout the years, he would always stay in that same small school, with his ever changing stream.

Years later, with numerous best-sellers under his belt, the now older and much more famous man took the stand as a commencement speaker at that same small school.

“Life,” he said, “Does not always do what you think it should. Do not be afraid to face your fears, to do your best no matter what, and to go where you must. And Always remember that sometimes all you have to do is sit down, shut up, and listen.”

He then walked down the silent aisle, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse in the next town over, grabbed his notebook and bottle of water, and made his way home.

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