Lost in the Woods - Personal Essay Example

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891 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
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Life in the city can prevent a person from knowing how the other side of the world looks like. There is a need to occasionally visit the countryside and experience the beauty of connecting with the Mother Nature. There is a sharp contrast between the town and the up country regarding the natural surroundings. For example, it is rare or even impossible to see dew in the city, while the rural dwellers bath their feet in it every morning. Smelling fresh flowers in the morning is only possible when a person grows a garden in the backyard. However, for many families, the land for the building of a house is very limited, making a garden one of the luxuries reserved for the affluent dwellers of the leafy suburbs. In my early days as a young lad, my parents ensured that I visited my grandparents in rural Kansas every spring during the vacations. This period gave me the perfect opportunity to breathe the fresh, unpolluted air of the countryside. My grandmother was a skilled craftswoman. She lived her early days in the Industrial Revolution, and she therefore had vast experience in textiles. So, she made sure that she had a piece of clothing for me every time I visited her. My memories of my younger days in the rural countryside had never come to life more than last week when I was visiting my catalogue of souvenirs. I came across this red sweater that was made of wool freshly sheared from the Kansas sheep. In fact, the sweater and the wool reminded me of one of my most horrible experiences at my grandparents.

I had just closed school when my mother called my grandparents to inform them that I and my sister were spending our vacation with them in the spring of 1998. I enjoyed living with the grandparents due to the apparent bliss that came along with this experience. The best milk from my grandfathers dairy was a reserve for us. We got to enjoy the taste of mashed potatoes mixed with semi-raw bananas. It is only in rural Kansas where you could enjoy truly organic food prepared with unusual recipes. My grandmother did not have cookbooks in her kitchen, but she could prepare any meal as you described it. So, on this particular day, I packed all the necessary items I needed for the journey. Among my paraphernalia was a sisal rope that I would use to swing on trees. I usually carried this rope back home every time I was coming from my grandparents, since I wanted to have something to show to my friends and earn accolades as a truly original person in the city. We jumped in my fathers Chevrolet saloon and drove for four hours until we reached our destination. My grandparents were very happy to see us, especially because we had not visited them recently. My parents stayed for one night and drove back to the city the following morning.

Our stay in the country side was going fine until one day. My grandfather owned quite a huge flock of sheep which he cared for with the help of a local shepherd. The sheep grazed in the paddocks in his large farm which bordered a forest. My grandfather demarcated his land with a perimeter fence made of barbed wire. This fence separated the farm from what lay beyond the woods. Sometimes, the sheep would graze as far as the border, but the watchful eye of the shepherd ensured that no harm begot them. On this fateful day, there was a drizzle that stared early in the morning. The shepherd, however, took the sheep to graze, but the drizzle soon increased to rainfall. The rain came so sudden that he could not drive the flock back to their housing. So, he ran towards the house to shelter himself and left the sheep in the field. The rain was accompanied by thunder and lighting, and we all expected that the sheep would be frightened. We, however, did not think that anything dangerous would happen to them. After the rain stopped, I accompanied my grandfather and the shepherd to take the sheep home. I donned my red woolen sweater, gumboots and a cap.

We proceeded to the field, only to find that the sheep had taken cover in the woods. They had found an escape route through the fence and entered the forest. The sheep were too many to gather, so my grandfather advised us to split so that we could gather all the sheep together. This was the beginning of my horrible experience. Water was dripping from the canopy as if it was still raining. I followed two prompts to reach the sheep: hoof steps and the sound of the animals. I could hear the sheep bleating from a distance deep into the woods. Once I located one sheep, I heard another bleating deeper into the forest. By this time, the night was falling, but I had to get back to the farm with my portion of the flock. I was supposed to lead the sheep home, but I was also lost. My grandfather and the shepherd later found me stranded just across the fence some two hours later. So when I saw this red sweater the other day, the memories of this day flashed across my mind.

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