A painting worth a thousand words

The view before me threatens to take my breath away.

Everything around me is still and quiet. My eyes trace the delicate curves of the bubbling brook before me. Some of the larger rocks break through the water, their smooth surfaces damp and glossy. From the way the sunlight reflects on them, you’d swear they could be crystals.

Further back from the water’s bank is an impressive wall of trees. A maple tree with vibrant red leaves commands attention, the sheer height of it coming close enough to scrape the bottom of the wispy mare’s tails that hang overhead. Its golden-brown bark is rich with rough texture, adding layers I can almost feel from this vision before me.

A large root juts out in front of a small bush, which still houses a few small remaining berries that the encroaching autumn and local animals have yet to take care of. The brown of the root and hints of the deep purple berries contrast with the mass of green that pleases the eye. It adds a little bit of visual interest where there would not have been before.

The sun peeks out from just above the treeline, yellow light blending with the colours of nature. It’s creating an atmosphere of warmth on the world below it.

This view evokes some of my fondest childhood memories, of times when my sister and I would play in a forest just like this one until our mother called us back to our cottage for dinner. The wafting smell of her fresh blackberry pie already cooling on the windowsill beckons us indoors.

I haven’t seen that place in years. We’ve all been so busy. My own life has been so hectic I can barely manage one day off, let alone the three or four required to truly enjoy the cottage.

How I would dearly love to see it again.

But now is not the time to indulge in memories. I have a job to do.

“This is incredible. Genuinely, I’m in awe,” I say, turning to the young woman standing beside me, “You’ve created something spectacular here.”

She lights up like a rising sun. “Thank you, ma’am. I’m honoured. I poured my heart and soul into this. Painting is my passion!”

Corrin is a 2nd-year Professional Writing student and a lover of all things fantasy. “In the Eye of the Beholder” is the first story to ever win her a writing contest, which she personally thinks is pretty neat.