On Bronco Pond...

In high school- I really came into being with my writing. It was still a variation of escape for me, but thanks to the encouragement of one English teacher (whom I had a dreadfully huge crush on) - I honed my skills and fought hard to get published. Yes, I was a dork. And a suck up.

In his class, he gave us an assignment while we read about Hemingway and his classic novella "Old Man and the Sea". The purpose, I think, was to get us to expand our minds and descibe everything, much like Hemingway did in his writing. So today, I typed up my old paper- word for word, (yes this is actually how I wrote in high school). Just for added effect- I posted a picture of the grade I got on the following paper.

"On Bronco Pond… November 6th, 1996…
The morning sun is giving breath to the new day; a cool breeze carries with it the smell of fall and the sound of dry leaves blowing across the black pavement path behind me. Leaves crunching beneath the feet of people around me, getting settled in to start the new assignment, trees bowing and swaying in the cool breeze. Branches bumping together making a hollow sound. Halloween was here and gone. Now, it’s November, the month of football and family dinners. The breeze ripples the seemingly glass surface of the water as old rose bushes bend their long arms down, dropping the discolored leaves that once captured the hot summer sunlight.

Reflections of dark leafless trees dance on the rippled water’s surface. The sun playing hide and seek with the grayish clouds high in the sky. I look up and take in the scenery around me.

Memorizing every fine-tuned detail. An English teacher, pondering the results of his newly given assignment, is walking his way around the pond. The incessant hum of truck and cars wheeling down the highway, each on their own journey fills the air. The ever pleasant sound of bird calls intermingling with the noise from the highway now and then.

When I look around me, the thing I most remember is me as a youth, finishing my year in seventh grade. The grade that most changed my life. When I found my true calling. Being a writer. I would come back here to the pond, after school, and do homework. Then I would take out my notebook and start to write. Sometimes, it was meaningless gibberish, but sometime, it actually made sense.

This was the first true place I found inspiration. There was something about it being so secluded and quiet. The ducks playing and talking to each other, the endless rustle of trees above my head, and the sound of water trickling in the ravine behind me. Sometimes the occasional kindergarten class would walk through, invading the seclusion. I would sit here for hours at a time, pondering the happenings of the next scene, or maybe is a character should have an ulterior motive… I would be all alone in my private realm of burgeoning creativity, rain or shine. I’m still writing today, and have come so close to accomplishing my dream. A dream that has changed so many times before, but has no finally settled in on one thing…

The roar of a jet high overhead brings me out of my trip down memory lane. The sun is hiding again. It’s warm morning glow lacing the cotton ball like clouds. The rustles of the paper I’m writing on, carrying the sounds of other people, reminding me that I’m not the only one out here. I looked up from my notebook, to peer across the water, and see the figure of someone that has climbed up a tree to get a different perspective on things. Shadows on the ground and across the pond tell me that time is slowly ticking away…

November 11th, 1996…
Today is different. Snow form the past weekend is blanketing everything under a five inch thick layer of white. Morning sunlight glistens off of the pond and making the snow appears to be made of diamonds. Trees around me creak and groan with the added weight, the sun shines through the clouds and lightens everything with a blinding glow.

As clumps of snow fall into the water, rings catch and reflect the sunlight. Cascades of snow following these clumps as they vanish beneath the frigid surface of the water. Birds chirping their pleasant songs and the distant hum of a jet as it flies overhead fills my ears, and the cold air numbs my fingertips. I move my fingers and try to stir my frozen brain cells into thinking about warmer situations.

Clouds of white and gray cover and almost block-out the flawless blue sky. Snow gather on low hanging branches and accumulations of pine needles, gives the atmosphere a feeling of Christmas although it’s still weeks from Thanksgiving. The knowledge that there are only weeks left of Christmas shopping to do yet, fills me with a feeling of dread, but the song of a lively sparrow cheers me up.

Memories and thought of building snow forts and snowmen drift in and fill my mind. Yells, shouts, and children’s laughter from years past, echo as if it was happening before me. Images of children throwing snowballs at each other with screams of delight and cries of pain from someone getting hit with one snowball just a little too hard. The apologies being exchanged and hands, filled with snow, raised in friendly warfare.

Huge goose-down snowflakes drifting downward and catching on the eyelids of youngsters as they run into the warm house. The smells of wet mittens and hot chocolate intermingle with the memory. The pleasant image begins to fade away… turning into memories again. I snap back into reality just in time to finish writing the last thought in my head.

As I leave my place of inspiration, I think about all the old memories collected up from the years past and the newly made ones now gained…"

The photography is from my visit there yesterday with Hubby. I still hold a huge soft spot in my dark cynical heart for that pond. And it's beauty with the snowfall from this past weekend reminded me of how it looked back there on the second day of my paper. We had gotten very much the same type of snowfall back in 1996, save for it was in November, not January.

Until Mr. V moved up int he ranks to administration- while he still taught English- he used my paper as an example for other students to base their papers from. That's kinda cool... In spite of how much the campus has changed since I graduated there in 1998- that pond is still the same. Still beautiful, still inspiring to me. I can even close my eyes and see myself, years younger, writing furiously fast in one of my many notebooks- waiting for my brother to get out of school so I could drive us home, or waiting for a basketball game to start at the high school so I could take my place in the "Rowdy Section".

Well- that was a lovely adventure down amnesia lane...


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