Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Write a Travelogue (11/06/14)
- TITLE: Discovering Secret Places
By Pauline Carruthers
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Step into my mind for a while and come with me on a journey. At the beginning I was moving out of nowhere and going somewhere. Scanning with freshly opened eyes a place called TRUST beckoned. Travelling through TRUST a wide and varied vista opened up before me, like gazing at a sapphire, sometimes as pale as a light blue sky in the summertime; other times as dark as storm clouds gathering before a thunderstorm. Majestic mountains towered before me. Awesome in splendour, yet to my finite mind, insurmountable obstacles blocking the way. My Guide constantly assured me He had a plan.
“Trust Me. I can move mountains”
He chose the narrow roads that hedged us in with overgrown foliage. Intermittent glimpses of red, yellow or purple blossom enticed my heart to linger, whilst tangled tree roots pushing up through the dusty road caused me to long for the wider highways. Many times I stumbled, but I never fell. TRUST appeared to be a place of dire situations and unexplainable solutions. Lonely desert wastelands interspersed with havens of peaceful tranquillity. When I allowed Him to lead we scaled the heights of the mountains, frequently disappearing into mists that for a while obscured the narrow paths; descending again to warmer places, where meandering streams gathered momentum into gushing rivers. A place of extremes, rugged roads and peaceful avenues, lingering in my heart forever.
When we entered FAITH I found the hiking boot terrain alien to my sandal-clad nature. Like a sheep attempting to climb rocky crags where only mountain goats dared to venture. My first impression of FAITH was to compare it to a rich red ruby of unfathomable depths, extending ever outwards like ripples on a pond. We travelled waterways in a small flimsy boat, with me frequently having to cling to my Guide when unexpected currents swept us along at an uncomfortable pace. He ignored my pleas for a life-jacket, telling me that He was all I needed. During these times I clung to my Guide, who sometimes appeared to be sleeping. Yet when storms brewed in that insidious way that storms have, creeping slowly and menacingly around us, He held out His hand and calm enveloped me. On dry land my hiking boots rubbed blisters on tender feet. During the days we travelled an ever shifting landscape, rugged and littered with boulders in the road; ascending the hills, struggling through valleys, resting on level ground, surveying the lush green scenery that stretched for miles on undulating land. In this place myriads of brilliant stars peppered the evening sky before nightfall. Then spectacular scarlet sunrises gently erased the darkness.
At my Guides insistence we lingered on the Isle of VINDICATION. Shades of purple like the stillness of twilight. The climate was unfriendly, an icy landscape that seemed to stretch for miles, snowy boulders haphazardly situated, powerful winds blowing in icy gasps, like accusations piercing the heart. When wrongly accused we have a choice. Vindicating ourselves means we have to actively put the blame where it truly lies, in the process causing hurt and humiliation to another. In this place submission carpeted the icy ground with tiny blue forget me not flowers. I looked to my Guide and in His face saw only nails and thorns. As we crunched our way towards the sheltered harbour, crushing tiny frozen petals underfoot, my heart melted into His will and the sweetest aroma began to filter upward, filling the air with an enchanting fragrance. I don’t know if I will ever visit this place again.
JOY, the most beautiful place I have ever visited. The air is clear as crystal, sparkling and triumphant as a crescendo of heartrending music, or as gentle as raindrops falling on a rose. Its beauty indescribable, gloriously indefinable. My guide appears closer to me in this place, His strength flowing through every fibre. The scenery here is versatile, underground geysers erupting in unexpected places; fountains of crystal water lying deep beneath the surface, forever eager to bubble up in heartfelt praise. Hidden caves where secret stalactites hang like icy chandeliers from rugged ceilings and glittering stalagmites litter stony ground, waiting to be discovered. An idyllic island, waves lapping on sandy shores, tides of worship forever ebbing and flowing. Sometimes calm and quiet, sometimes rising in a tsunami of praise and thankfulness. This is my favourite place; a place where my Guide waits to overwhelm the soul and gladden the heart of weary travellers.
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