SEM2, W1, #5: A PLACE IN NATURE OF YOUR OWN

Back story: Every student will be writing a 4-stanza poem in the style of William Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey:  On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour.  July 13, 1798”.  The heart and soul of his poem speaks to the “sublime” and “blessed mood, / In which the burden of the mystery” of nature continues to impact him many years later (in spite of the way he may feel “‘mid the din / Of towns and cities” at times).

Challenge: Your poem — like Wordsworth’s – will focus on a single moment you spent time alone in some form of ‘nature’ at least 2 years ago.

  • Describe a natural setting that you visited years ago that continues to inspire you and may even be a place you occasionally still daydream about returning to, especially during the stressful times of your life.
  • Focus on visually striking descriptions. Really try to ‘paint’ a picture in the minds of your readers.
  • Don’t worry as much about ‘why’ you were there.  Instead, focus on the way the natural setting affected you and your senses.

Length: 7+ sentences.

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82 responses to “SEM2, W1, #5: A PLACE IN NATURE OF YOUR OWN

  1. A few years have passed, and again I see the clear view of this beautiful vegetation. Once again do I behold these monumental trees that rest before the sun. When I was much younger, I went for a nature walk near our lake-house in Eustace, Texas. There was something that attracted me to the scenery outside; perhaps it was the pleasant feel of the clear weather, or perhaps it was the quiet of the sky. In my walk I thought that I never again wanted to return to my busy life in-doors. I would rest out here, reflect out here, become “secluded” out here in the landscape I so envied. The natural setting impressed upon me serene thoughts and a rather cleared mind. The happy memory of this walk I had taken really makes me want to return to this place.

  2. When I was seven, my friend Shay and I were in a large field at dusk and we were just running around, being kids and doing anything and everything to waste time. We realized that the grass was taller than us when we got deeper into the field and it made the experience that much more enjoyable. I don’t know what it was about tall grass that was fun to me, probably because I was used to the short, bright green grass of my culdesac. Shay got on my shoulders(after many failed attempts) because I was the taller one and we realized how big the field really was, she could barely see the houses we had come from. It was getting late and I was extremely afraid of the dark so I wanted to go back but Shay called me a chicken so I stayed and pretended to enjoy the fact that it was almost pitch black and we were alone in the middle of a field. I could never actually see the sun when it set because I was too short, but I definitely realized when it set because I started panicking because I couldn’t see anything. I kept hearing various animal sounds and i thought something was coming to eat me. Shay wasn’t bothered by the sounds at all, eventually pretending to be fine with staying in the field turned into me actually liking being there. We started crawling on the ground, afraid that our parents would see us and take us back home. I could feel the dirt under my nails and really didn’t care, we had been in the field for a while now so I was covered in dirt. Shay and I were both fighting sleep because and both knew we were tired, yet we stayed up. It got really cold and Shay gave me her jacket and we just lied down on the ground, covered in dirt, the tall grass rustling in the wind overhead.

  3. Awhile back, 5-6 years ago I would say, I went to Colorado with my family to go skiing. 2 days into snowboarding and doing stuff with my parents, I decided to go down the mountain alone. Needless to say I got lost on the way down, I tried to go through terrain that hasn’t even been touched yet. The land was flat like a vast meadow of snow. I had collapsed in it out of exhaustion and the snow had covered most of my body. I didn’t hear anything, didn’t see anything besides the crisp white color of a frozen water like that of rabbits fur. The trees were a mixture of palish greens, all bland and light pastel colors. It looked like an a painting that had been worn down by time. Snow was sprinkled on top similar to powdered sugar on a baked good. Needless to say the view was incredible, the field had a slight drop to a crevasse. It was a valley of beauty that at a single glance would give you a warm feeling. For me that sight alone kept me warm while I sat there for what seemed like hours on end. The wind was blowing only so slightly and yet the sky above was moving at a pace greater than my own. The clouds were smears and blotches of grey in the lightly blue colored sky. The grey was like the kind of color used to describe a neutral mood, not so much depressing, but more along the lines of calm. The blue on the other hand wasn’t a color expressing emotion, more like a cluster of galaxies to give off a hint of blue. This goes without saying that it was a very relaxing, calm, and extremely peaceful part of my life.

  4. Sometimes I still look back and dream about that summer day. It was a couple of years ago, and it was the first time I had ever been to a real beach on the east coast. I had been to other little beaches before such as Galveston, but this one was different. When we first arrived on the beach, the sand was hot against my bare feet. I remember the sun beating down on us as we made our way through the crowds. We set up a small location with a pastel blue umbrella, two fold out beach chairs, even though there were six of us, and a little orange cooler. The sky didn’t have a single cloud in it, the day was perfect. It was about noon, so there were a ton of eager beach-goers quickly filling the beach. I pulled my hair out of my ponytail and set down the big striped towel I was carrying. I gazed around and noticed that my step-brother and step-sister were already in the water. I ran across the hot white sand and stopped right before the water’s edge. I let the cold water lap over my feet. I was skeptical at first; I had never actually swum in the ocean before. What about the sharks? I thought to myself. Then my brother whizzed past me into the water at full speed. He dove right in while I was still standing there. I took a deep breath as I adjusted to the frigid water. I slowly entered. The water felt so good against my skin. I went a little deeper and began to paddle. The wind blew slightly. Some birds flew above us and dipped down every once in a while to catch small fish. I was staring up at them when I felt myself suddenly go under water. The waves were getting slightly stronger and one had completely submerged me under water. I pulled myself up and gasped for breath. My lips tasted like salt and my eyes burned. I heard the laughter of my step-brother and sister. I glared at them as I swam back out. They had been going to this beach before I was even born, so they knew that the waves of the water do that sometimes. I didn’t really mind though. I looked over towards the beach and noticed that I was being called in. I swam towards the shore and made my way up the beach. Apparently it had been a couple hours and we had to return to their beach condo. I wrapped up in my big cozy towel and cringed my toes in the burning sand. The sand stuck to my feet making them red and itchy. We started to move up the beach towards the street. I quickly turned around and stared at the amazing ocean. I never wanted to leave this place. I felt a hand on my shoulder so I turned around and looked up. My dad was simply smiling at me, and he said we could come back tomorrow. I smiled back at walked with him up to the road, turning my head and sneaking one last glance at the beautiful scene. I would never forget that day.

  5. My story is about an epiphany on a mountain that I had, It was beginning of last summer, and I was at constant conflict with myself, never knowing what was right or if it was just my own selfish desires. I was at a Christian camp, and I never knew what to do with our two hour devotion time. I walked up this hill, rocky and unstable, every stone ready to slip and send you tumbling, unforgivingly, down to your death. This dirt road, windy and unsure, led my to a small hovel of sorts, a mossy refuge from the rain that was starting to come. I sat in this makeshift bench, watching the bugs, not really knowing what to do. I had been bitten by mosquitoes so much that I felt like I was almost part mosquito. When this rain came though, I felt at peacew, and realized that I was no longer being devoured. I felt a calm come, and I was peaceful, sitting on the ground on a hill in a storm. I looked at the sky, and as the rain stopped I had a moment of clarity. Everything means something. Nothing is insurmountable. I developed a mantra, an anthem to myself. Do not be afraid, He will never harm you, beyond what you can bear, beyond what you can handle. He will help you through, he is your rock, your anchor, and He’ll always be there, when all others are gone. I felt safe and very content. I knew that if I got hurt, I would heal, and if I didn’t, something better was waiting just beyond the pain.

  6. When I was ten and my family was visiting South Bend, Indiana for Thanksgiving (we drove) on the way back we stopped at Turkey Run. For three days my sister and I climbed and hiked among the huge ravines cut from the soft sand stone by wind and time. I remember walking amongst one path in particular that had a long stream running down the center of it. The trees along the edge of the ravine walls had all lost there leaves save for the occasional evergreens that still communicated life in that desolate area. We meandered down that path not noticing, till the ice water was lapping through our shoes, that the stream, with the rain of the day before, had consumed the entire trail. We naively thought we should continue, our progress slow over the dark stained rocks that looked like they would hold our weight and not pull us too deeply into the freezing water. As we slowly chose our path, myself in the lead (as it always had been) the ravine became deeper and the stream followed this trend.
    After a while I stopped on a sturdy looking rock and finally looked up stunned by the beauty of this scene. The stream gurgled healthily along, but what I had failed to notice before was the impeccable clearness of this water. The trees too had thickened, along the ravines edges. They outlined, as a canopy, this water road with bare branches that rustled in the wind and dropped their golden leaves upon the nature highway. What I failed to notice at that time was the impending darkness surrounding our lonesome hike. But even now as I reflect at how dangerous it was for us to be out alone in the darkness I couldn’t feel that at the time. I was to overcome by this beauty and this time of utter peace.

  7. I was in East Texas a couple of years ago. I was sitting in front of a fire in a field cleared out of brush land. I was at one side of the field near one of the edges of surrounding brush. Someone was sitting near me but we weren’t talking to each other we were just staring at the fire. When you are staring at the fire you need no conversation. It was dark out, the fire provided only enough light to see about three yards away, everything else was pitch black. This made me feel like I truly was alone, in a nine yard dome of light. I could feel animals in the brush watching me, I couldn’t see them but I knew they were there. There was cloud cover so I couldn’t see any stars. In these clouds a storm was building. Every once in a while a there would be a lighting strike inside the clouds that would light up the field so that you could see everything for a split second, then everything would go pitch black again. When this happened my peaceful loneliness would be broken by the flash and thunder clap. I would feel excited with fear. However this isn’t the fear that makes you fear for your life, this makes you very excited for a brief second, then when you calm yourself down you feel even calmer than before, until it happens again. It’s almost like you realize you’re not in real danger, but this threat is keeping the outside world away from you.

  8. The icy cold pierced my senses. I looked up, staring into the gray that stretched out in every direction. Behind me, there was nothing but the steep cliff, dotted with snow, but predominantly featuring the jagged rocks and crags one would expect in a cave. In front of me, the gray of the sky melted into the white of the ice and snow to create a single image that was too bright to bear, but at the same time, I couldn’t tear my eyes away. I could feel the rock hard ice, covered with a thin layer of newly formed dust, under me. I could feel the wet, aching cold that seeped through my gloves as I ran my hand over the ice under me, looking at it, feeling it. I could feel the kiss of the snow as it stung my cheeks and I could feel the cold reverberate throughout my skull. The only scent to be found was that crisp, precise smell of ice, that lingers in your mind and makes the cold only so much more intense. I inched my feet backward, hearing the scrape of metal on snow as the weight on my feet left ridges in the ice. It was all quiet except for the rasp of the ice as anything and everything moved against it. All around me, I could feel, hear, see, and smell the cold. However, I could also sense a warmth, starting in my stomach and moving up my body and into my head. I found a warmth in the cold, and I embraced it. I stood up, looked all around me, and saw everything. I felt as if I was on the top of the world. I looked to my left and saw mountains. I looked to my right and saw mountains. I looked everywhere and saw the ice dropping from the gray above me. I looked down and plunged myself into that ice.

  9. A couple of years ago, I was at the beach, no special beach, but a beautiful beach. When I go to the beach I don’t necessarily think about how pretty it is or some place that could really affect you in a way that you cannot even describe. When I think of the beach I think of playful, fun, and a great place to just have fun and hang out. But after a couple of hours I got tired and just felt like getting away from the noise for a couple of minutes, which turned out to be almost an hour, to just float. When I was floating it was possibly the most peaceful time of my entire life, which is odd because the water was packed. Even though there were people all around me, I didn’t seem to hear anyone. It was a time that I just reflected on my life as a whole. However, when I was floating it seemed like I was invincible and that nothing could ever harm me, injure me, or hurt me in any emotional or physical way. I wish so much that I could have time like that again, but I have never been able to just get so in to it as I did that day. I have tried laying out in the back yard looking up at the ‘stars’ trying to get into that same mood, but always unsuccessful. I guess it cannot be forced, but I wish ever so that I could be there, at that crowded yet abandoned beach.

  10. Sunset Lane

    My bare feet graze the green grass and the black dirt finds ways into the creases of my skin as I walk through the passage way that nature has created. I push open the now green iron gate and a cry of terror and chaos comes form it’s cold hinges. The sounds of nature surround my ears, a constant conversation that I will never know is all around me. The rustle of leaves as creature passes turns my eyes and awakens me from a trance, I look up and feel cloaked in the shadows of the trees, I feel connected tot he arteries and veins of nature. My heart beating in rythym with nature composing a magestical piece no instrument could create, a living, breathing music instilled in my bones, wrapped around them as a continuous vine squeezing me until I am weakened, weakened by the forces of which no one can control, nothing can contain.

  11. When we first moved to the house we live in now, I had never really seen a large backyard. When I was in first grade I thought my old backyard was huge. When we moved, the new backyard put the backyard I loved so much to shame. The thing I loved most about the new backyard was this giant willow tree. I was too small to reach the limbs, so I had to be very persistent in my efforts to get up into the tree, but when I did, it was worth it. I think the struggle of getting up into the tree made it much better, but the tree itself was amazing. I could see so much of my backyard, into the neighbors’ yards, and just around my house. The thrill of being up in the tree was great. I often felt like I was going to fall, but I never did. As I got more sure of myself, I would jump out of the tree. I just remember how much fun I had in this tree.

    I would stay out there all day and I had to be called in at night. I made these elaborate plans of building a tree house and living in it. I managed to convince my father to build some type of small platform around the tree because he assured me this grand tree house was not possible. When we finally got around to getting started on the project, we found out the tree was dying. The tree was dead and rotting away.

    I remember how the dying tree looked in comparison to the young tree that I had spent so much of my time in. The tree was removed when I was a little older and I hadn’t really been up there in quite some time. I tried to convince my father not to have the tree removed but he believed it was making the backyard look bad. In some way I agreed but the tree had been a place for me to go for so long. When the removed the tree, I remember coming out to look at the yard. It looked so empty, almost sad. To my surprise, I cried at the loss of this tree. We still have not built anything there, and although it is simply because my dad doesn’t know what to plant there, I see it as sort of an homage to my tree.

  12. Right by my house was Joe Pool Lake. I’ve been to that lake several times, but not in a very orthodox manner. Instead of going down to the beach everyone goes to and splashing and zooming around on jet skis, there was a little road by my house that lead to a completely abandoned part of the lake. The road was marked with a Dead End sign, but for me it most certainly was no dead end. When you walk down the road, there is a a sizable pile of junk and appliances that were dumped in the lake because no one wanted it, and when you look out to the water there are a lot of dead trees sticking out, making jet skiing impossible. There’s about ten feet of beach sand that gradually gets grassier and grassier until it became forest. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I suppose you’d really just have to see it, but it had a great feel to it; a feel that I loved. Whenever you went to this part of the lake, there was absolutely no one even in sight. It was someplace I could go when I didn’t want to go anywhere else, and it was somewhere I could sit when I didn’t want to talk to anyone. It was definitely a place I could go that seemed like it was just for me.

  13. Last summer, we went to Alaska and saw many beautiful sites. One day, with my family, we went on a boat cruise. The clouds were moderately grey, clouding up the bright sun. It was cold and rain began to fall. This made me feel uneasy, as if weren’t able to go to the sea. However, we rode toward the open sea, the water became choppy. The small waves transformed into monstrous tidal waves. The boat seemed it was to be lost in the water, with us. I looked desperately for the creature of the sea, but the water stopped me. The boat entered a small part of water away from the violent sea. I went to the bow of the ship, looking for any lesser creatures I could find. In the stinging wind and the bitter cold, I was able to see other sea creatures; however, not the creature of the sea(a humpback whale). The cold wind never made me stop for searching the whale.My favorite animal that I ever wanted to see was a humpback whale, the biggest animal on earth. I did not, however see one. I hope to go back there and see one.

  14. I don’t have a particular date, because I visited my grandparents while they lived in this house several times. They lived in Virginia then and I always loved going to their house. They lived about an hour away from the airport, and their house was surrounded by forest. I remember driving there and looking through the window, staring up at the trees. Their house was in a field, trees scattered throughout. They also lived by the water, a sail boat always rocking by their dock. Behind their house there were several pine trees. The ground was always littered with their needles. Between two of these trees, there was a hammock. I always loved sitting in that hammock. When I sat there I felt so peaceful, surrounded by the trees, and watching their sailboat rock in the water when there was a breeze. I don’t have any real particular moment, because every time we visited I would lay on that hammock. Their house was always an escape from the real world, and that hammock was my place of peace.

  15. The place I remember is like out of a fairy tale forest setting. I was riding there and I stumbled upon this beautiful place where the trees came over like a canopy and it was a wide stretch. There were trees hanging over above head and it reminded me of a fairies habitat. The floor was brown crunchy leaves that rustled as you moved thru them. The above was the green blanket and brown branches of the trees. The stretch seemed to go on forever and the air there felt pure. The blue sky above made you feel like you were in a story book and it made a calm feeling.

  16. I’ve had a lot of those nature moments, but the one that’s most impacted me was in Michigan when I was sitting on the roof and looking out at the moon. Yes, I was touching a house, something connected to the modern world, but I’m still going to write about it for my poem.

    It was quiet; there were no air conditioners running because of how cool the summer was. The ocean sighed softly on the rocks and sand and broken shells below, and the roundish moon shone white in the sky. It made a long glimmering reflection in the dark water, and it looked like you could walk on it.

    It was the first time I truly felt liberated. I was alone, the only one in my family that had dared to climb out on the roof and see the beautiful night. I myself had fathomed the idea of a moon path on the water, and I was fascinated. I think is was that moment on the roof that I first began to realize that I wanted to be an author/illustrator…to continuously spawn fascinating ideas for others to create in their own minds…to paint things such as that radiant moon, that deep water and sky.

    I didn’t want to call out to any of my family to come and join me in that moment. I was afraid that they might not see it the way I did. It was just the moon, they would think. The beach isn’t all that beautiful, either. The sand isn’t clean and white and soft; it’s muddy and rocky and the broken shells hurt your feet.

    But nature isn’t perfect. To me the imperfect things are always the more beautiful (or at least the more interesting). For the world to understand, it just might take an author/illustrator to spotlight the remarkable in the unremarkable.

  17. We can always think we’ve seen it all, felt it all, experienced it all, and bought the t-shirt, but we never really do. Each day, the clouds form, or don’t form, the sun reflects differently off of that winged creature, the heavens seem to pour, and bolts come to balance out this nature. Through each season we see the subtle changes that creations go through, and yet here we are, viewing all of it, from an unlocked, luxurious cage….

    The Spanish Peaks, in the distant foot hills, higher than the sea, as if in the basement of Heaven, there is a stream, filled with rocks, and smooth, fresh water. The ground by this stream is soft, regenerated constantly by this steady, soothing flow. A flower, with faint droplets of water, splashed on as if fallen from Heaven, lies, content; but it beckons me. The slide to this phenom’non is just as lush as the other side of the bank. The wild green climbs up the slope, and is met with ashes of rock, (old as these mountains, soon to be dirt) finally the source of the chips of foundation; it still exists… There I sit, enthralled in the beauty and possibilities of flexibility. I see the path that Nature has given me; down the slippery slide I try, every breath, the fresh, shallow air cycles through my body, and of this nature I am aware. Taking my first step down, I place gently, but rapidly, understanding the dangers, having no experiences yet of pain, I childishly step, reaching the bottom, and grabbing the flower. The water brushed my feet, relaxed, my being sat down, not worried about the moist, almost soggy chair I chose. The flower, delicate and smooth, faded away down the stream; with the same wind of tragedy, I am summoned… The times of Cuchara, and the walk of the childish youth, here I stand. With the same air, more ashes, and plenty a daisy, I am forever changed.

  18. A long time ago, I think I was around 7 or 8. It was the $th of July and the fire works were going off everywhere. I didn’t really like all the noise so me and my older cousin went across the yard (which happened to be VERY huge), and climbed his treehouse to watch from there. His treehouse was built strangely, but it was uniquely special to us. The tree was embeded into the wood of the house in a way that made you stare for a long time, which alot of our friends did when we wet up there. Also, the stairs were fun too because it was like rock climbing…there were foot holes in the tree, and little handles on the side to pull yourself up. We alwas had a blast. We usually went up there at night, and for one reason only… the stars. They were pretty big to me, because in the city I rarely saw any. So when we climbed up there, we would lay back on a big blanket, look through the specially carved roof, and just stare at them. The tree smelled like fresh cut grass, almost all the time, and I liked it. Me and my cousins’ cat, Pepsi, went up there for fun too. She was kind of afraid of heights, so i put a blind fold over her eyes and tucked her in my shirt. It was pretty funny. And another funny thing always happened when I was up there at night, some kind of bird would always fly back and forth across the sky that i was looking at, and sing. I dont think I realized it then, but remembering it now, I do.

  19. A couple years ago, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to the Galapagos islands with my father’s mother and cousin. The Galapagos are a cluster of tropical islands off the coast of Ecuador, located right on the equator. The experience I had there was unlike anything I had ever seen. The wildlife at the islands was both exotic, with animals such as giant tortoises and tropical penguins, but also more common, such as iguanas and sea lions. The Galapagos, like the Hawaiian Islands, are volcanic islands, and are still covered by layer upon layer of lava. The scenery was exquisite because the dark lava contrasted with the brilliant blue of the sea and the sky. For me, the Galapagos was an awesome experience because I got to see nature at its most raw and powerful state, free from the touches of humanity. It is a memory I carry with me everywhere I go, and I hope to return someday.

  20. 2 years ago I was in Oregon with my family. My family had wandered off to a winery tasting room while I was outside able to explore the nature around me. I found myself outside a cherry orchard that covered many acres of land. I was before many tall and widespread cherry trees that made me feel overwhelmed with the beauty of nature. I slowly entered the forest that blocked out all sunlight. The overhang of the branches left me only with my own thoughts. The leaves were a color of dark green, and each branched struggled for its own space. I continued threw the orchard until I found a huge rock that sat alone in the middle of the orchard. It was surrounded by two over hanging trees that let only a stream of sunlight in upon the rock. The rock was perfectly shaped for a sitting spot. I found myself thinking that in our normal lives we don’t get enough time to be alone with nature and just enjoy the sound of the crisp cool air, and the leaves gently whistling upon the branches. And how technology including cell phones, televisions, and computers rule our lives. I wish I could revisit this calm and quiet setting when ever I please.

  21. Afraid? No, terrified. I had always admired the ocean. It seemed as if the perfectly blue waters stretched on forever as I stood at its foot. Admired, yes, eager to paddle through its vast waters in a tiny kayak, not so much. It was my twelth birthday. My family and I had gone on a cruise and were now stopped in Haiti. My mother had sighned me up for a single kayaking trip down the ocean with a group, while they relaxed on a beach, much to my content. I had never swum in the ocean before, nor had I ever wanted to. There is something about the infinite waters that creep me out, whether it be the creatures living below, or the knowledge you could be swept away forever and no one could even dream of finding you. To be swallowed whole by the mighty ocean was not on my to-do-list. Our tour guide had assembled us, made sure our life jackets were securely fastened, and pushed our kayaks one by one into the water. The water was warm that day and relatively still. Within no time my arms ached from the constant paddeling and I was struggling to keep up with the group. The trip I knew would be a long one, because I already knew our destination. We were paddeling towards this shore next to a cave where the shadows of the giant Haitian mountains met the waters. I knew the plan was to meet up there, climb the cave, and look over the ocean and the mountains. I couldn’t wait til our paddeling break because I was sure my arms were on fire. Just then I remembered I had left my camera back on the beach. At first, I was sad but I thought how great could the view be anyway? And I pressed forward. I was already beggining to be drawn to the beauty of the ocean. The waters were the perfect shade of teal blue and were more clear than a crystal. I reached down and touched the water, warmed by the hot Haitian sun. I saw colorful fish swimming below and laughed at their amusing behavior. I wished I could be a fish and swim among them, but then again I was twelve. Right when I swore my arms were going to fall off, I reached the shore with the others. I knew climbing the cave would be tricky; as I said, my arms were going to fall off.The cave seemed to be as high as the Grand Canyon, but looking back now I realize the cave probably wasn’t as tall as I thought it was back then. Remembering the first second I looked out unto those blue green waters now is like a dream. Only two words came to mind that first second…breath taking. A flock of birds began to fly that was sitting near us and it seemed as if they were flying circles around us as we stood there silently. If you turned around you had a magnificent view of the mountains on the beach we began our journey at. The people looked liked tiny ants lying on the beach, they cound’nt imagine what we were seeing. The majority of the group climbed down to go eat the complementary lunch provided for us. We would be here only for another half an hour before we went back and I and a few others wanted to saok it up best we could. I will always remember that day and thinking how my parents missed out on something incredible. The thing I remember most though is thinking how much I didn’t want to go and being so thankful that I had. Even though that day I had forgotten my camera, the images of that view wil remain with me forever.

  22. A while back me and my dad were building us a bridge across my creek. We got big railroad ties and welded a frame. It’s a nice bridge, but thats not the point. It was one of the best periods of time in my life. It was just me and my dad and any other family that was around having a good time getting stuff done. It was just out back a couple years ago. It was in the winter so it was real cold. It just gave me a good feeling working with my family and friends.

  23. A lot of times I think about going out into West Texas where my cousins live. They live in a small town called Spur. Very few thinks are more relaxing and breathetaking like the night sky in Spur, Texas. It’s out in nowhere where every star is visible. You will literally get lost watching the stars. Whens It’s not dark you can see for miles into the hills and over the plains of west Texas. It doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it’s truely a site to see.

  24. The feeling that I could do and be anything. The weightless marvel which is water. The ability to be flexible and something that gravity continuously prevents. No other place allows this feeling, this freedom. Alone because no one realized how far away I truly was. To be in a place where floating is a possibility and the sun on my back made me smile. The slight breeze outside forced me under and the warm water saved me from the cold. Though the water was a refuge there were dangers about for the constant flow of the dark bottom, due to the pull of a drain. The drain which could catch hair and pull you to the bottom, and the drain which forced independence to frighten lovers of water. Though the area was small and not grand imagination forced it to be the largest of escapes. The noises above could not disturb those under the covers of water where all dreams developed.

  25. This was back in kindergarden, back when I lived up North. This was in mid-autumn around Thanksgiving. Me and the rest of the kindergardeners were dressed up as either pilgrims or Indians. We were all sitting on the floor and I was sitting right across the window. I was looking out the window watching the leaves fall off the tree. They were all a burnt orange. I sat there watching them ride the wind and eventually settle down on the ground. I think about this memory alot. There’s something about that stays with me. I think it’s because it reminds me of a simpler time, back when I had no worries, reponsibilities, or motives. This was when I lived a carefree life. Sometimes I wish I could relive those days.

  26. Almost a decade has past since the day I visited the hill near my house. On this day, my next door neighbor came and knocked on my door and told me to get ready if I wanted to go sledding. After I got dressed, we set out through the gate in my backyard. We walked through the field with dead grass and weeds up to my waist. As we walked, I kept thinking I was going to get bit by a snake. After we got through the field, we walked trough the woods, along a path that seemed to be created by some form of life. When at last we arrived at the hill covered in muddy snow, we began to climb up it. The hill backed up to a local community college. A metal fence stood at the top of the hill. I slid down, but the snow wasn’t thick enough. Broken and dead trees covered the hill. But the hill no longer exists because of new houses. But whenever winter comes, I always think of the hill and the time where nothing mattered.

  27. It was a late afternoon in an unknow forest. The sounds of action and fighting had stopped. All was quiet except for the wind blowing through the dense forest, picking up the fallen and crunchy leaves. A few sun rays passed through the trees leaving behind exquisite shadows. Paints of war had covered the trees leaving behind a spot almost like nature was tainted. I sat there quietly behind a piece of black and wood cover, all alone without anybody. The only living things that were moving were a few bugs. The breeze felt good, and nature seemed to be at peace. It was peaceful. I thought that this forest could’ve been a very nice place to relax in. Yet even as I thought about how nice it was, I wondered how nature can be at peace when war, fighting, and hate surround it. Nature had somehow found the peace in all of this negativity. I wondered on this for a couple of minutes, until reality kicked my head. I heard footsteps that were very close to me. My place in nature had ended. Today its hard to even find that place in nature especially with all the fighting I do. However I learned something from nature. I learned that even though there is alot of fighting around the world, I must find my peace inside this world of fighting. That event changed my perspective on life and fighting. I learned that life is stressful, unfair, and full of hate but in all that negativity I need to find my peace in there. My place in nature came back to me a couple of times when I was in my virtual world. A fighting environment with different sounds and places of replicated nature. From a snowy, cold, windy environment; to a dense forest where nothing can be seen except for the beauty of nature, and nothing can be heard unless you listen closely; to a cold, damp, and rainy field; and to a bare and boundless desert where the only thing heard is nothing. I guess my place in nature has a way of showing up in interesting places.

    Note for Mr.Long: This is not pretty poetic, and I hope I did the blog right. This is what I plan to write for my poem only a little bit lengthy, for one, and maybe make it more meaningful. I’ll figure it out.

  28. That was long times ago, that every day i need to walk to go home. After the school its almost 4 o’clock, and i always play basketball with my friends after school, after that it was 5 o’clock. When I walk home there is a smallwooden bridge, you can see the beautiful sunset on the bridge. That time my heart was so calm, and my brain are so clear, a lot of random things are coming out of my brain, the air are so fresh and the water are so clear too, that time was so great. Now i want to use this experience to be my poem, it is good because now i have a chance that i can writing down my feeling and shared with everybody, that was great and other way i can practice with my writing too.

  29. About five years ago, my parents took me and my sister to an island during the summer. Once we arrived, we had to hike up a mountain. The hike was difficult, since there wasn’t even a decent trail to follow. We climbed up the steep hill for about three hours, it seemed. It was hot and humid. Finally, we arrived at the small opening of a cave. We entered the dark cave and after adjusting our eyes, we climbed down some stone stairs. It was cooler, but still quite humid. Through the guide’s flashlights, we saw the stalactites, stalagmites, and other crystals that took millions of years to form, and we were duly impressed. But we were still hot and tired and ready to go back to the hotel. Then, suddenly, at the bottom of the stairs, we saw emerald-colored pool of water. Sunlight somehow shown upon the pool through cracked earth above and the green water sparkled. It was the most magical and beautiful sight I had ever seen. We were speechless and confused as to what to do. The guide laughed and told us to jump in. We were hesitant because it seemed to be too beautiful to be disturbed. But my dad jumped in and we followed. The water was cold and refreshing. I let myself float and closed my eyes. It was quiet and dark. I could feel my dad’s hand around me. I don’t know how long we were there, but eventually, some other tourists came and we got out. It’s a place in my mind that I could go back to. It’s a place that left nature alone, and I feel lucky to have been surrounded by such natural beauty. Even now, I can close my eyes and imagine myself in the cave without a name.

  30. About a year ago I spent my spring break in Wyoming. I had been doing a lot of things which included being outside with nature but not to the point where I would dream about it in class. Up to this trip I had gone skiing, snowmobiling, and shooting the old .22 around. The whole trip I had been with my dad and my uncle and hadn’t had a chance to be alone and take in the scenery.
    Well my uncle took my dad out on the john deer to show all the lots he was selling( there probably were 4000 or 5000 acres). It was the last night i was staying there and it was just before dusk. (Probably like 2 or 3:00 it gets dark early there). Like I said I was alone and didn’t want to spend my last day of daylight inside the house so I decided to go explore.
    I walked to the back of the house where there were some wooden poles stacked up on each other. They were big like telephone poles so I decided to sit on them and look around. As I was sitting there I saw a reflection from the sun. I didn’t know what the reflection was coming off of so I got up to look. It was a metal sign that had the American flag and something else that was written. I noticed that there were more of these signs lying around so I went to each one to look at them. As I got one I saw that there was something big straight ahead of me but far away. I looked up and saw that they were mountains. I was on top of a hill that covered the view of the mountains from the house and now saw a valley. In this valley were miles and miles of rodeo rings which must have been at least 70 years old. I sat down when I saw this view and sat there for 30 minutes looking at this old rodeo grown over by nature with mountains in the background. And I knew that I would never get a chance like this where my exploring had been completed by this discovery.

  31. I don’t remember exactly where I was but it was somewhere in the mountains. It was a foggy day when we went to a park with leaves as big as my head. It was the first time I really felt free on a trip. There were paths everywhere leading in every which direction. It wasn’t ever too cold but it was always brisk. You would think that there would be a lot of wind, being in the mountains and all, but surprisingly it wasn’t. It was the best trip of my life, plus I got a bug bite on my forehead that swelled up to the size of a baseball.

  32. Two years ago, before I came back to Texas, I lived in Maryland.

    We had a nice house. A very pretty two-story, with a nice backyard. There were lots of trees out back. Our yard was like a clearing in a forest, with a huge sloping hill in the middle. It was fun to roll down in the autumn.

    It was a summer night… June, I think. That night was unusually colder than the others before it, but it was still humid. I remember looking up at the black sky, wishing I could stay there forever — we were moving in July. Back to Texas. I had loved the state before, but after Maryland, I hated it with a passion. I never wanted to go back… but I had to, and I just kept staring sadly at the sky thinking these thoughts. I was sitting in the grass, on the very top of the hill. Although it was humid, the grass was cool and soft. The trees were looming overhead in the darkness, black shadows in the distance, and beyond them I could see the white stars… so many… which, here in Texas, I cannot see. There were fireflies — in the summer, there were always fireflies — flashing their orbs of yellow light in the darkness. I could see their little bodies trailing ahead of their lights… I remember the green blades of grass and the delicate drops of dew, illuminated, as the soft glows of the fireflies passed over them. I sat here, watching the white stars overhead and the soft blinking of yellow flash around me in the humid air. It was warm, the grass was cool, and I felt the suffocating pressure of darkness and sadness and warmth take me over. But… it wasn’t dark. There were so many stars, and so many fireflies, and I was surrounded by life. I will never forget that night. It was beautiful.

  33. This memory seems almost like a dream but it still vividly intense in my thoughts. One winter day, I was barely five and it was my first Christmas away from home. This year me and my mom had gone to Michigan and stayed with some relatives at the cottage by a lake. The sweetest memories of all were waking up next to a crackling fire and the smell of breakfast looming overhead. Then all of the sudden you hear a distant unfamiliar noise, your ears zone in one that one distinct sound. Finally you figure out it’s a train far in the distance. The day brings many adventures with the first real snow I have actually seen, sledding in the woods, walking on the frozen lake, and catching a glimpse of a family of deer cautiously walking through the woods by the frosted window. This is a memory I will never forget because I hold everything I did there close to me, for each thing I did had a special purpose, taught a lesson, and was a first time experience.

  34. Two years ago I had visited California and me and my brother decided to visit the beach. We got their and barely anyone was there, it was very quiet and peaceful. We went and surfed for abit then wrestled in the sand. The sky very blue and completely clear, and the weather was perfect, it was not hot or cold.We sat down after we got done for about an hour and we barely talked. Instead we listened, the beach was silent and all we could hear were the waves. It was around 6 or 7 pm on a thursday and we were coming back to Texas the next morning. When we were sitting there it really tuched me because I had never been in such a beautiful place. The sound of the waves crashing down and the sea gulls making abit of noise as they were flying. I felt as if everything was at peace, like there were no worries in the world at all. It showed me how beautiful nature really is, and you dont need technology to show you how a place really is you just have to go see it for yourself.

  35. Everyear I go to camp, but only every few years do I get to travel to the top of the tallest mountain at camp. The trail in which you take up to the hill is speckled with horse foot prints and they will finally lead you to the the top of this mountain which is covered with dirt and only splotches of grass from where we haven’t traveled on as much. Once on the top there is a stone hut, a sign that represents our camp and lights up everynight and peace. I always stood on top of the letters of the sign, below me I would see a few cactus, but further down I would see miles of undisturbed trees and rolling hills. I could also see the whole camp, I would get the bird’s eye view of what everybody else was doing. It gave it a completley different view on how everything worked there. I could just stand their for hours on top of the white letters of the sign, yes I was with some of my friends, but all of us stood on different letters and never once do we talk to eachother. This was the most peace ful spot on camp grounds, never would we disturb that.

  36. Late reply

    it was definetly for me a family trip to Louisiana when I was ten. We made a stop to go boat riding in one of the swamps. It was so much fun observing nature, the area was so peacful. Everything in the natural world, unlike ours, seems to mesh perfectly together, wether it be dry desert plains with cactus or long green pastures with apple trees. it is so calming to just get out every once in a while just to find yourself at peace and one with our planet. So for me when we were cruising along watching the alligators swimming and the tree spiders hanging. I seemed to be calm and collected, just as the creatures where.

  37. Late reply

    i was 13 and i sat on a deck of a pond and thought about all my dreams and what i wanted out of life. It was around sunset and the sky was orange but blended with pink, red and yellow with a tint of purple. It was a normal day but the air was thinner, the wind blew stronger and my heart beat louder as i sat and just let my heart blow with the wind as i sat and thought about life and i how i wanted to live it to the fullest. I have always been a girl who wanted to inspire people and tell them to never have regrets. That life was shorter than a blink of the eye and that they should live it fully. I will always remember sitting on that deck in my back pasture because it was a day that i cant get back in real life but a say that i can go to over and over in my mind and make it as realistic as possible.

  38. Late reply

    When I was a kid, about 7 or 8 years old, I remember that I’d constantly be staying over my grandparents’ house. Their house was built right next to a creek but I never really knew about it until I noticed it one day when I was out playing in the backyard. I accidentally kicked the soccer ball I was playing with over the fence into the creek. So I climbed over the fence to the other side and looked to see where my ball had landed. There were many rocks sticking out of the water like huge grey fingers. My ball was floating on the water next to one of these small islands of stone. I was about to jump across the rocks to get it when I hesitated. The water here was pitch black and as if I fell into it I would fall into an endless abyss of darkness. Legs shaking, I eventually was able to get across the creek and get my ball and I kicked it over the fence. I wanted to go back to the house but something told me not to. So I looked back at the creek and was compelled to walk across the rocks again. As I was stepping from rock to rock I suddenly realized that the familiar houses that surrounded me had vanished and were replaced by an incoherent tangle of trees and vines. Suddenly my foot slipped on a rock and my leg fell through the water. I cried out in surprise and thought that I was going to die, but I managed to grab onto a ledge in the rock just in time. I pulled myself up, one of my legs drenched in water and mud, and kept going. As I went farther and farther the wall of vines and trees started to disseminate and I saw a rocky shore up ahead. When I walked onto the shore and I ended up in a large clearing. There was a flowing river on one of the sides and the soothing trickle of the water helped calm my nerves. I felt like I was in a whole different world and was suspecting an elf or some king of creature to spring up at any moment. I looked to see if there was any way out but the only path continued from the clearing to the other side into the creek. I was surrounded by hundreds of rows of bamboo. It felt like this clearing was someplace where a person might have lived and impenetrable wall of jungle gave me a sense of protection. As I marveled upon my discovery the light was slowly starting to fade and I realized it was time for me to go back home. I looked back to where I had to cross to get to the house and suddenly became very afraid. The darkness brought by the setting of the sun gave the creek a menacing air about it and I was hesitant about whether or not I should cross. I gathered up the courage to, eventually, and as I walked upon the rocks I looked back at that clearing, that other world filled with splendor and mystery. To this day I long to go back to that place and go on to see what else lies within the dark terrace of the creek.

  39. Late reply

    Four summers ago, I had traveled to Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The day we had gotten there I had walked alone along a bridge on top of a tank full of sharks. Not a single person was around. I had looked up at the Sun, not a single cloud in the sky and the temperature was just right. I had looked straight and I could see the long, clear blue ocean with waves that were calm. I saw Palm Trees to the left of me and the sand right next to it. The sand was a perfect light brown look which amazing just to look at. Nothing else in my life could have been more magnificent. I could see sailboats in the distance and people parasailing which looked so enjoyable. The horizon was so clear and I could not stop looking at it. On the beach, there were people playing volleyball and throwing footballs. Everyone there looked so happy and at peace.

  40. Student Response #1

    I’m responding to student number 23.

    I have actually been to Spur, Texas!!! When I was little, my friend lived there and you are right, the stars are truly beautiful. It’s amazing because in Arlington you can see about three stars on a good night. I was surprised at how many there were because I had never been anywhere with that many before. The hills are pretty too, but the stars are spectacular. Me and my friend has attempted to count them, we were little and very strange, and we quit. There are so many! It’s beautiful and I really miss the stars, I wish I could have that experience at home.

  41. Student Response #2

    I am responding to student #3.

    First I love the imagery you created in this. It is something I can really relate to, for I have been to Colorado numerous times. I have also gotten lost on the mountain, but was unable to be afraid because of the sheer beauty of my surroundings. In fact the only time I ever remember being scared on a mountain was about four years ago. I was headed down an easy green run. It was a bright morning and unseasonably warm on the mountain top. I was completely consumed by the beauty of my surroundings, and was so convinced that there had to be something beyond this life (yes I was a strange ten yr old and thought of things like this), something much greater had to have created this. Well, I certainly was not paying attention to where I was headed and before I knew it I hit a bump on the slope and was going horizontally across the run and off the cliff about ten ft in front of me. I sat down and was able to stop my self before my entire body joined my dangling legs. Amusingly, this happened directly after I was admiring God’s beauty. Thanks for bringing this memory to my attention. 🙂

  42. Student Response #3

    I’m responding to Student #7.

    I really like this paragraph. It doesn’t drip with excessive language (as my writing can do sometimes); it’s just simple and direct, like the scene it describes.

    I love that line: “When you are staring at the fire you need no conversation.” Simple, but it says everything perfectly. It reminds me of a time I was sitting by a fire on a frozen lake with my family and a friend, a real nature-guy. We’d say things, trying to start conversations with him, but he’d just say, “Yup,” and that was it. It was his way of politely dismissing each attempt. Conversation wasn’t needed.

    Wait a minute, Michigan doesn’t border an ocean… Sorry, it must have been Massachusetts. Stupid M-states.

  43. Student Response #4

    I’m responding to student #10.

    When I was scrolling down I saw all these poems/paragraphs that looked nice and had great descriptions.

    Student #10, however, caught my attention.

    For one it had a title, and that was pretty interesting and stuck out there for me. Also the descriptions are pretty interesting, and full of philosophy and imagery.

    Take this sentence: “I push open the now green iron gate and a cry of terror and chaos comes form it’s cold hinges.” This is actually a pretty good sentence that describes the sound of the gate as you open it. I like the word choice you used to describe it.

    The sentence after this is also cool and agreeable: “The sounds of nature surround my ears, a constant conversation that I will never know is all around me.”

    We can never know what nature is talking about. Maybe the trees are plotting to take us over so they can stop global warming. Its pretty poetic and I’m guessing this is like the beginning of you soon to come poem for English. Its so far turning out well. Keep it up.

  44. Student Response #5

    I decided to respond to Student 11:

    I liked this one. I have a soft spot for the entries that had their special place in nature somewhere that was close to their home. When your haven is close to your home, it’s usually a place that you can really love because you can connect with it often. If it’s somewhere you went on vacation, I don’t feel that it’s as easy to connect with because you don’t really get to visit it as often, therefore it’s harder to confide in that place. I also really love to climb trees, because I see it as a way to blend in with nature; to truly become one with the earth. Trees, in my opinion, are one of the most beautiful creations that earth has to offer, so when we moved to our new house and they’re weren’t any trees because the house was just built, I was rather disappointed. Luckily I found my own personal forest just a short bike ride away. But your tree story was really touching, especially the part where you and your dad were just about to start the platform and you found out the tree was dying.

    Even though it was a lot less dramatic, it reminded of the poem/short story The Giving Tree. It’s a must read, but I was nine when I read it. I just saw that Shel Silverstein had written it. I thought, “Ooh, Shel Silverstein! This should be a fun poem!” Then I read it and cried my eyes out.

  45. Student Reponse #6

    I am responding to student number 4

    I really liked this description of the beach it felt really real. The reason I liked this entry is because the beach is my favorite place ever! I love all the sights sounds and smells of the beach and felt this student did the description of the beach justice.

    I also like this story because I very much can relate to it at my first time at the beach. My experience was almost exactly the same! We had a condo on the beach and I remember not even wanting to go back to the condo I just wanted to be on the beach the entire time. Even when we were in the condo I would stand on the balcony and look down at the sand. Like this person I too was shocked at first about the powerful waves. In fact I had spent so much time letting the waves carry me up and down I still felt like I was moving in them even when I was not in the water and back at the house!

    That was great to have a similar memory with another student!

  46. Student Response #7

    I am responding to student #11

    I can totally relate to your story. There was a tree in our yard that had been there since I was born, and I had played on it so much. I had a swing there as a little kid, and it was perfect for hiding in. Last year we discovered the tree had died, and we would have to cut it down, or else it could fall and crush our house. I told my parents that we couldn’t take it down, and they asked me if I wanted to pay for any damage to the house.

    That’s when I gave them permission to cut it down. But it made me really sad because it’s like a piece of my childhood is gone. And even though I know it was for the best, I still wish we had that tree sometimes. I love your description of your tree. You can really tell how much you cared about it.

  47. Student Response #8

    I am responding to student #21.

    I enjoyed how you also told how you felt about being at sea. As a kid, whenever I saw a huge body of water, I always got scared. It was always the depth that scared me. To think that we ride in a boat or a cruise, making us feel big and mighty, was not how I felt. The ocean is thousands of feet deep, filled with many creatures we have never seen before. These creatures can be probably triple the size of a cruise. The ocean’s characteristics produces much curiosity within our minds. The ocean, even though makes me curious, still amazes me.

  48. Student Response #9

    I responding to student # 7

    Yea I can image what are you talking about, that was the great moment that you only can feel nothing but the fire. A long time ago I was a little boy scout, sometimes I and some friends in the group to go to camping at the wild, we need to do everything by ourselves beside that we have bring the foods. We go find the wood and leaves for make fire. At night the wind blow and we all just went together shrink near by the fire, and this time just like what you said that we don’t speak, we just stared at the fire, you cant feel anything but the little energy come from the fire, you will feel so warm and calm, you will think nothing but the fire, that was a nice feeling. Thanks to make me remember that feeling. 🙂

  49. Student Response #10

    I am responding to Student 27

    I thought this was massively poetic. I like how the student didn’t emphasize where they were specifically because really, it wasn’t about where they were in nature, but how nature affected them. I like the emphasis about how nature taught the student about ‘love in the time of cholera’ (God bless Gabriel Garcia Marquez for letting me make that terribly nerdy reference), or how to find peace in the times of war and hate. It is interesting about how the student says even though they are no longer in that forest, they still see it in the doldrums of everyday life and they carry its lesson with them even they are no longer in the canopy of its trees. Nature is always teaching, all we have to do is stop and listen.

  50. Student Response #11

    I am respondind to student # 7

    That’s a lot like my place. My place is out in the middle of the woods in West Texas. I really like places like that too. Being out in the woods is just an experience that can’t be duplicated. Especially in Texas, I really like just sitting and listening to the animals. Sometimes it’s at it’s best when no one is talking. Especially out in the country in Texas and at night there’s really nothing like it.

  51. Student Response #12

    I am responding to student number 32.

    Wow the description of Maryland at night makes me want to visit. I could feel the grass on my feet, and hear the buzzing fireflies while reading this description. This backyard sounds amazing, and just like a scene from a movie. Actually it reminds me of the backyard in one of my favorite movies “PS I love you.” This backyard is not in Maryland however, but in Ireland.

    The boldness of this response was great as well, the fact that this student said what they felt and didn’t sugar coat it was moving. I could truly feel the sadness throughout the description and the true longing to return. Though this response was not in poetic form it felt very poetic when I read it. The descriptive language used was effective and the sincerity was evident. This student seems to have a natural ability when it comes to descriptive language and also in making the reader feel and something. I truly hope that this student gets to visit Maryland sometime soon in order to recapture the joy that only the Maryland night sky can give☺.

  52. Student Response #13

    I’m responding to Student #4

    Your use of descriptive language is to be commended. You immediately capture the reader’s attention with your seemingly insignificant but powerful detail. The detail you include is impressive, ranging from “a pastel blue umbrella” to “eager beach-goers quickly filling the beach” to how you “cringed [your] toes in the burning sand.” I sensed your slight panic when you wrote about how the tide pulled you under and how your “lips tasted like salt “ and your “eyes burned” when you re-emerged from the undertow. You seem like a good sport, considering that your step brother and step sister chuckled when you went under. It is apparent that you long to return to the chilly East Coast water.

    As a side note, it seems like your brother is a brave guy, especially when he dove right into the ocean, without any regard to possible lurking sharks. This is a well written and enjoyable blog…I almost felt like I was there with you.

  53. Student Response #14

    Response to Student #8.

    This story is awesome. It conveys the perfect feeling to someone who loves the cold like I do.

    Someone like this those feelings this person describes. They love to take a deep breath and have the cold air be sucked in through their nose that they can’t feel anymore. They love to be able to look at the sky and only see a light gray overcast. They love to look and the ground and see nothing but unbroken snow or ice covering every building or every rock. They love the feeling of their warm clothes having been soaked through by melted snow so now they’re useless. I know from experience this feeling is very invigorating and it makes you want to get up and get the blood flowing, unlike on a hot and humid summer Texas day. This feeling also makes you feel a little like you’re in some frozen wilderness, whether you are or not, fighting for your life, with your remaining body warmth as your only solace. This sense of melodrama is very interesting and really makes me admire this feeling.

  54. i am responding to student 5!

    Wow, that gave me chills because its so true how life is confusing and finding yourself is so hard sometimes.

    I think that nature can make everything a little clearer. Rain, wind, thunder or sun. Its all the same but yet very different. I love the way that you used the detail of what was around you to make what your feeling come alive. I loves reading it it made me think of what life really is and how we are here to find out who we are. I really liked how positive your outlook was at the end of the story.

    Thanks for letting me get a chance to read it!!

  55. Student Response #16

    I am responding to student #17:

    When I was reading, the line, “As if in the basement of Heaven,” really caught my attention. Some may think of Heaven as a beautiful place that can’t be duplicated by man. When you say, “The basement of Heaven,” I think of such a beautiful place that isn’t as beautiful as Heaven, but close to it.

    I really like your descriptions of the Spanish Peaks and everything you saw in them. You put the details into smooth flowing sentences and the picture was very clear in my head. I especially enjoyed the part where you had kneeled down to pick up the flower. It had such a relaxing scenery which was very unique to you.

  56. Student Response #17

    I am responding to student #2:

    I really enjoyed the imagery and story telling. I really appreciated how the beauty of the scene was not so much the field, which was impressive in itself, but the memory. The fun you had with your friend, the memory of fear, courage, and adventure. It really reminded me of my childhood memories and adventures. The imagery was minimal, but effective. I can see the tall grass and night sky as clear as day. This entry really took me back, but also reminded me of what I really love about Texas: the wide open spaces and freedom.

  57. Student Response #18

    I am responding to student #1

    Your entry caught my eye not only because it was #1, but because it’s about vegetation. My poem is also similar to that scenario. I read your description words and I even found a few that could work in my poem. In my poem I also go for a long walk which resembles yours. I found a couple of techniques that will help me with my poem. And I know this is only a hint of what your going to accomplish in your real poem, but I think this is a great start. And this helped me out a little too. Good luck!

  58. Student Response #19

    I am responding to student *30

    I think you explained the surroundings of Wyoming pretty well. You gave examples of what there was to do and gave everyone an idea how it was like. The way you explained it made it seem like it was a very family type of place to go, where theres alot of nature and activties to see and do. Its pretty cool how you found those signs laying around those must be pretty old. I thought it was pretty funny how when your so focused on something that you dont realize whats ahead of you until you actually look up and see it. I think you could have told abit more detail about the view you were seeing and how you felt about it. But you did a really nice job explaining how you led up to the point of being able to enjoy ur experience with nature.

  59. Student Response #20

    Responding to student # 4

    First off, awesome use of language. You easily captured my attention when I read the first lines. When I first read it feels like I was there at that moment with you. I like how you used adjectives in your story. I also like the use of detail in your blog. Your brother must be a brave boy to jump in the water (maybe full of sharks). I also liked how you described the beach. I love going to the beach also.

  60. Student Response #21

    I am responding to Student # 21

    I laughed, or chuckled, when I read your story. I had similar experience out in another Caribbean island. I am not well-travelled, I don’t think, but I am always awe-struck by the beauty of the ocean, mountains, and caves of Caribbean each time I visit there. Even though people have lived there for a long time, nature somehow seems bigger and more overwhelming than in US. For example, the loud sounds of the ocean, the strong, vivid colors of the vegetation, and the heights of the mountains seem more extreme than Miami or Orlando or California. I guess there just is less buildings and man-made things in those islands. Your description of the water being teal-blue and clearer than crystal is very apt. It’s really hard to describe the beauty of the ocean, or the streams of water in the mountains, which is also often so clear that you can see the fish. I, too, wish I could swim like the fish and fly like the birds of Caribbean.

  61. Student Response #22

    I am responding to student #4

    I thought that your descriptions were excellent. It was really easy for me to paint a picture of what you were saying in my head. I basically felt like I was there as well. Your entry reminded me of all my different experiences at the beach. (Sharks and mocking family memebers included.) I can completely relate to the feeling of just never wanting to leave. There is nothing like laying on the beach on a warm day just relaxing and listening to the waves. Especially since there isn’t much beach in our lovely Texas.

  62. Student Response #23

    I am responding to student #34.

    I am responding to this student’s blog because in my nature poem we are working on I am talking about the beach too. I love the beach and agree that when you are there you feel no worries. You are listening to the waves crash into the shore from the beautiful water and you are letting the breeze blow against your face. Everything around you when you are there is truely breath taking. I also agree when student #34 says “you dont need technology” to show you how beautiful a place is. That was probably my favorite part of their whole blog because these days people would rather stay inside and watch television and spend all day on the computer instead of going outside and exploring our beautiful world. I guarentee you if you just walk outside one day and go for a bicycle ride or one morning you watch the sunrise, you will no what student number 34 and I are talking about. 🙂

  63. Student Response #24

    I’m responding to student #32

    When I read yours it made me want to go and see the place it was describing. Although it makes me sad that you hate Texas so much, I can see why you miss Maryland. From your description, I could feel that sense of peace that that place held. Now I want to visit that place, and feel that sense of peace. You painted a beautiful picture and got your feelings across. The last five sentences really stood out to me. Especially when you talk about being surrounded by life. Again these sentences really got your feelings across. This entry was really well written, and made me want to visit that small place in nature.

  64. Student Response #25

    I am responding to student #15

    The place you described caught my attention because it reminded me a lot of Simon’s place in Lord of the Flies. Like Simon, you were in like a canopy of trees where I assume it would be hard for others to see you, while you can easily see them. I liked how you described it as a “fairies habitat” because it gives me this image of it being dark with twinkly lights. Sorry, but this also reminded me of Lord of the Flies because the faries discription is your version of the candlebud flowers that William Golding mentioned. It seems to me you both have similar visions, maybe you should talk. ha. I truly wish I could have been there with you because it sounds to me like a beautiful place. You really won me over with the “Storybook setting” line because I know when I am reading I feel calm and like I could stay there forever. While reading your intry I could picture the place you were at because of your discriptive language.

  65. Student Response #26

    I’m responding to Student #12

    You spoke of a familiar area to me, Joe Pool lake, but you also described an part of it that I am not familiar with. Perhaps because I was never meant to go there, because this place calls to you rather than me. I loved the line, “The road was marked with a Dead End sign, but for me it most certainly was no dead end.” This almost gives it a “Chronicles of Narnia” feeling, as if there are some worlds people will never know unless they attempt to find them. Also, the description of the “sizeable pile of junk” really set a vision in my mind. Overall, the descriptive content fully paints a vivid picture in the readers ever-wandering mind.

  66. Student Response #27

    I am responding to Student 32

    I was moved by your story, as it sounds like you long for the days when you lived in Maryland. The way you described the fireflies was amazing. I especially enjoyed the lines, “flashing their orbs of yellow light in the darkness. I could see their little bodies trailing ahead of their lights…” I felt like I could see the fireflies illuminating the night. What I like best is how you turned the tone of your story around. You wrote about the “…the suffocating pressure of darkness and sadness…” Immediately thereafter you reversed your course and ended on a positive note. The suddenness by which you changed the rhythm of your story was brilliant. I was not expecting your story to end this way, quite honestly. As a result, my favorite line was “But… it wasn’t dark. There were so many stars, and so many fireflies, and I was surrounded by life.” This line captured my attention and encouraged me to go back and re-read your narrative once again.

  67. Student Response #28

    I’m responding to student 30

    This was a great story. It caught my attention because I was wondering what there was to do in Wyoming. You had good explanations of the surroundings. Whenever I’m reading something, I like to visualize what is happening and I have a good picture in my mind about your story. That’s cool how you found those signs. The story kept me interested in what was happening and I would like to read your poem when it’s finished.

  68. Student Response #29

    I am responding to student number 3.

    I enjoyed reading about this place where the snow and scenery were so peaceful. It was very descriptive and I could visualize it as I read about it. I could feel the coldness of the snow. I could even hear the quiet if that is possible. My favorite line was “It looked like an a painting that had been worn down by time.” I think this line gave it the peaceful feel. If it had a more bright vivid description it would have been more energizing than calm. This made me feel calm and it made me want to go to this place.

  69. Student Response #30

    My response is to student number three.

    I highly enjoy skiing. I have never visited that place, but now i have. Your vivid use of color put me in your ‘shoes’. I know how it feels to be in fresh powder. It is a feeling of relaxation and panic at the same time. The panic comes from the shock of falling, but the powder is so relaxing. I have not seen many mountain top views of valleys, because of the clouds, but the one I saw was stunning. I was ATVing in Breckenridge and there was a fantastic view of the village. IT was something.

  70. Student Response #31

    I am responding to Student #9:

    I have also experienced the serenity this student did at the beach. Whenever I’m in a moving car, I just drift off. Not sleeping, but I just kind of disconnect from the world. If I’m listening to music, all I really experience is the song. Whenever I’m on the way home with my home, we always drive down to the lake right down the street from my house. I’m not sure what it is about a moving car, but it just comforts me. I really like this entry because of their great descriptions and because I can really understand where they’re coming from.

  71. Student Response #32

    In response to Student 3:

    I’ve always loved the cold, even when it’s freezing cold I still enjoy walking around outside. There’s just something in the air whenever it gets cold, I don’t really know how to describe it. Whenever I breathe in cold air it just refreshes me on the inside, kind of like taking a shower. Even if I’m shivering the cold doesn’t really bother me that much. I liked your description of the trip you took to Colorado. I too have been there during the winter for a vacation and it was fantastic. I think it would be great if I could be able to get lost on a snowy mountain like you did. I wouldn’t really panic, but I’d more rather be calm and relaxed. I’d want to experience what it would be like with just me, the nature, and silence.

  72. Student Response #33

    I’m responding to student #32

    Reading the description of this place in nature almost made me feel like I am there, sitting in the grass, looking at the fireflies and the stars. I could feel and smell the damp grass, see the fireflies illuminate spontaneously, and envision the dots of light in the sky, some brighter than others. This is because I’ve already ‘been there and done that’ every one of these events. I just haven’t experienced them together in one piece like what happened to the person in this description. I have never thought of putting together all of these scenes. Now, when reading this description, it caused me to want to be there right now. I’ve also noticed that all of these wonderful experiences- the fireflies, the grass described exactly in the paragraph, and the stars- are all individual experiences that happened to me outside of Texas.

  73. Student Response #34

    I am responding to Student #8.

    The description of the snow and the scenery of the mountains is absolutely breathtaking. I come from a snowy place (Maryland) and here in Texas there isn’t much snow to see. The last two years have been snowless for me, and I really miss it. Reading your entry really made me visualize how the snow felt for me, as well, two years ago. As I was reading, I felt and saw everything described… the vivid and striking language used painted a ‘sublime’ (the only word I could think of… ‘beautiful’ wasn’t quite it) picture in my head. The feeling of being small, lost, completely surrendering to nature… these feelings took me over when I read this entry. Seeing the mountains surround and enclose you on every side feels overwhelming, even for the reader.

    Now I really miss the snow… The scent, the sight, the touch of it — and that same tingling warmth you get when you spend too long sitting in it. Man, I really wish Texas would snow. This entry got me missing it again.

  74. Student Response #35

    I am responding to student #28.

    I like how you give the reader some visuals. But I think that you use “I” a little to much for the first stanza.

    Also the first three lines have great content and enthusiasm behind them but need to be written a little clearer. Seems like when you’re finished with your poem it will be great. But you also seemed to choose a place with a great deal of detail but you’re not using it. But this place seems like its going to give you lots to write about. Also maybe instead of using times maybe explain how the shadows look.

  75. Student Response #36

    I am responding to student #2:

    Wow, I think I would have been pretty scared. But only if it was night, but I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be surrounded by tall grass. I’ve seen plenty of movies where t happened to a random kid, and all I could think was, lucky. I mean, im a big kid myself, so runninng around in a field of tall grass would definitly be fun for me. But im pretty sure if I was there with you instead of Shay, we would have left a looong time ago. 🙂

  76. Student Response #37

    I am responding to student #32!

    I really like this entry because I can relate to it in every aspect of my life. It seems like all to often I look into the open texas sky and wish I could stay there forever. I don’t understand how you could actually hate Texas and its 75 degree winter days though. I also have that “never wanting to go back” feeling every sunday night during the school year. Although your move is a little larger than going back to school, I always want to make that Sunday night longer than the rest of the days. I really like how you talk about the white stars, cool grass, and fireflies. You have changed my vision of Maryland. I thought Maryland was a cold and rainy place.

  77. Student Response #38

    I am responding to Student #32

    If only I could be there on that night. It sounds amazing, but the funny thing is, other than being about to move, it sounds like any other night outdoors. I adore your voice as a writer, because even though it is just any other night, you make it memorable. My favorite part is at the end, when you tie together two opposing statements with an ambiguous, but pleasing statement. It reminds me of the times when I would be on a camping trip, just enjoying the beauty around me, and trying to forget that the next day I would have to leave. Being sad when looking at something makes it better, makes it tragically beautiful. I love reading anything with good imagery, so as long as a picture is conjured in my mind, you have succeeded.

  78. Student Response #39

    Responding to #7.

    I love thunderstorms and lightning. I think it is like that ‘potential danger’ that might be involved, but you know it won’t ever happen. I love watching lighting. It’s so powerful, and so unpredictable. I consider it very relaxing. I love that smell that blows in right before the storm. The way you described how the dome of light from the fire separated you from everyone else was a neat thought. It’s truly hypnotizing, just like lighting. I really liked how you kind of touched on the different aspects of light in your story. I bet you could expand on that with your poem. I loved the image you gave me when you describe how the lightning lights up the whole sky, but then turns off, and leaves you in your own world once again.

    side note: I think sometimes the more powerful and damaging nature is, the more we respect it, and just stand back in awe, and fear, and wait to be amazed. It’s truly amazing.

  79. Student Response #40

    I am responding to Student # 10.

    You’re writing was incredible, I seriously loved reading it. The description was there, and the way you phrased everything was beyond perfect. You connected everything so well, and it was all worded very uniquely, in a way that nobody else could describe such an experience like you did. You compared things very well, and it was all together a creative piece of work. My favorite part was, “I feel connected tot he arteries and veins of nature”, I felt like it really showed how you were one with naure. When you started talking about nature, then being so descriptive with your organs and nature becoming one was when it really became real to me. Those lines really made the whole writing strong, I loved it, you seemed so passionate about it.

  80. Student Response #41

    I’m responding to student #5

    I hope you know that you are incredibly lucky. It seems to me that most people really don’t find peace like that. At least not until after many more years of searching. And to come to that conclusion, that you are strong enough to overcome what life throws at you and He will always be there, that makes you lucky too. Lucky that you have that notion in the back of your mind when things get truly difficult. That makes him a trusted constant no matter what is changing. That gives you hope that no matter how dark it gets, the sun will come out eventually. Things WILL get better. They have to.

  81. Student Response #42

    Im responding to student 1:

    I really like how student 1 describes nature and its “vegetation”. Student 1 also shows a contrast between the nature and “busy life in-doors”. I like how they showed the contrast and also showed the huge difference between the two different worlds. Nature generally is a place to clear your mind and relax the body. Student 1 showed this by saying that nature “suppressed upon me by serene thoughts and rather a cleared mind”. I really liked how they used contrast and description throughout the entry. Its also nice to see that a simple walk in nature had such an impact on someone.

  82. Student Response #43

    I am responding to student #16.

    I like the experience they chose because it is simple, anyone can easily go on top of a roof and look at the moon. However somehow this person was able to achieve that “liberation” in such a simple and regular environmnet. Also, I praise them for being able to come up with meaningful and ‘big’ words to describe this simple setting. They, somehow, were able to come up with complex ideas and deep feelings. Also, I like it because since it is such a common environment, people can relate to this. It is important to have people relate to your stories and such. Overall I think this person did a good job on picking a good environment.

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