My aching body begs for sleep, I decide otherwise. A quick swim in the Heart Lake to cleanse myself of mud and dirt. We spot the shimmering lake from a distance and smile. Stripped down to the bare minimum, I put my foot in the crystal clear water to judge its sting. Cold, but not freezing. We decide to endure a minute of torture to enjoy an hour of pure pleasure. I walk in, shivering at every step. To shock my body into oblivion, I plunge in. Silence. A few bubbles escape tickling my ears. A state where time stands still, where pain oozes out of every body cell in one dynamic swing. I stand up, sending ripples all around my perimeter. I look up, the sun seems to be in a mood to play hide and seek. I lie supine, swimming with gentle foot strokes. White fluffy clouds gently stream across the blue sky. I cast a lazy glance on all four sides of the small lake. Lush green mountains cast blue shadows over each other, only darkened by an occasional cloud passing by or hovering on the tops. I close my eyes and let the wind talk to me about the child giggling as his father throws him in the air, about the two hounds who compete to fetch the floating ball or the pretty dame sitting by the lakeside reading a book. My limbs thank me for the water bed and the quilt of clouds as I dream on endlessly.
I pull my sleeping bag out of the cozy canvas cabin and spread it all over the dewy grass outside. Hot embers from the neighboring fireplace give enough light to spot the right place. I wish to lie on the grass but my fears of reptiles and insects keep me from abandoning the warmth of the comforter. As I stretch out on the earth, others join in to occupy every square inch of the bag. We look up at the open heavens. Not a single cloud to blot our happiness. Only endless realms of stars, bright and dim, dense and skim. I look out for the Great Bear or Cassiopeia, the wife of Cepheus and mother of Andromeda. Lightning flashes on the horizon, with no thunder. Endorphins rush through my body, make me light-headed. Yawn tears stream down my face, as I lose myself in the magical moment where no task seems impossible, where no dream seems unattainable. My fingers caress the wet grass just as the gentle wind caresses my hair. Ideas germinate in the dampest hour of the night, taking roots in my sub-conscious. Before I know, I pull over the canopy of stars getting ready for a dreamless nap.
When US beckoned me by Siddharth Wagh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.