I stroll along the dirt path, treading up dust and examining the clouds of earth in awe. The cadaverous gray of the sky made a distinct horizon with the vibrant green of the plain, which stretched endlessly before me. Sprinkled with wild chrysanthemum, the field reminds me of a head full of dandruffs. As the wind swooped in, flacks of white swayed along with the grass, some fluttering into the emerald hair. The boredom is bringing out the best of my imagination as I stare intently at the scene, trying to ferment enough emotions to write a sentimental entry. In fact, the only reason we came to somewhere so rural is to experience the quiet contemplation and desolation away from society, and our teacher was not going to let us leave without recording our every movement and emotion. Other students are already settling down or have already started writing already, and here I am, perplexed that I'm not feeling the emotions that my fellow pupils are already transcribing on paper. 
       Suddenly, I feel the impulse to run; and I did. I sprint through the clusters of students, under my teacher's outreached hands, and past everything and anything. I don't know whether it is adrenaline or the fear of being caught, but I keep going until my lungs burst from lack of oxygen. Tripping face down into the soil, I lay there still and wait for the feeling of nausea to leave. My heart thuds against the ground, and if felt as if the earth has a pounding heart of its own. The ringing in my ears gradually increase until it sounds more like a constant shrieking, but it did not break the peace. Serenity envelopes me, and I tune out the shouts of concern, the flickering of insects' wings, the rustling of grass. This moment feel like an extract from the movies, usually when the protagonist feels too stressed and consults nature for relief. I imagine myself as an escaped convict. The grass pillows me, giving me a sense of security, and the wild flowers soften the edges of my anxiety. 
        I hear sounds of rustling and open my eyes to worried-looking faces. A few hands reached down, and I grab them and pull myself back to my feet. The illusion fades and I'm back to reality, where the earth can't actually soak up my stress nor can the wind blow away my worries. All my distress swell back up inside me, and the only proof of the serenity I've felt is the grass stained shirt.

Lily Cheng '16