Oct 23
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Hot cider

I hear the crunch of dry leaves beneath my feet long before I meet the treeline. A unique blend of reds, yellows, and oranges engulf the rock steps wandering down to a break in the trees.
I start the journey downwards, my right foot planting itself squarely on the first step moments before my left follows. Back and forth I go, slowly making my way towards the mass of sugar maples speckled with evergreens. When there's one more step to go, I hear the song of redwing blackbirds migrating south for the winter. My eyes roam up the trees-their branches pulling me up to the ocean of blue. My path finally intersects with the birds, gliding in a perfect V. Soon enough, the trees eat them up, sheltering them from my gaze.
I continue towards the trees, my eyes wandering as far as I can see into the forest. When my feet unite with the soft soil, it feels like I never left. I'm suddenly surrounded by a painting, vibrant colors drowning me in their grasps. I'm submerged in the expedidtion when I arrive at the river. As I glance across, I notice something I failed to observe on my way here.
Fallen trees, clearly cut down by big teeth. I'm starting to get fidgedy, trying to keep my imagination contained, when I notice a cluster of branches in the river that's affecting the water flow. Beavers.
I take a step down the small drop directed towards the beach, which is sheltered by bunches of rocks scattered about. A cool breeze whips past, and I instinctivly pull up my knitted scarf so it's covering my lips and nose. I search for a way across the ice cold water, and my wandering eyes land on 3 stones that are a couple feet apart. 
This is a bad idea. I think to myself. I quiet my conscience, and step up to the waters edge, so close that the toe of my dirt-caked Vans are inches away from the freezing liquid. I lift one of my shaky feet, squeeze my eyes shut, and take a leap of faith.
 Hard ground.
I open one eye to see that my left foot landed on the first rock. I quickly pull my right foot towards me, causing a momentum that pushes me forwards, my arms flailing, my legs tipping back and forth. Moments before disaster, I stretch out a leg-whichever one available, and land wobbly on the next rock. I decide to take an easier route to the last rock, waiting peacefully a few yards away from me. Before I can change my mind, I bend both of my knees, and hop-like a little rabbit-cautiously over to the last rock. 
I land on both feet, conquering the jump. As I'm overcome with triumph, I take a step, short but quick, my right foot falling into the icy water. Suprised, I jump-a little too quickly-and end up tripping on the edge of my perch, falling chin first onto the damp sand. My foot still encased in piercing cold water, and my hands covered in wet sand, I yank my foot out of the water, rub my hands on the black sweatshirt I'm wearing, and continue on my way. 
I eventually make it back to the house, and find the fireplace lit. I saunter over to a comfy chair, and sink into it, slipping off my Vans. I hold my feet up to the fire, taking notice of the hole in my Darn Tough socks.
My nose catches it before my eyes do, the steam making it easier to smell. I yank off my gloves, and wrap my hands thankfully around the mug, selfishly taking a big sniff. When I'm done smelling, I pull my scarf down, exposing my slightly blue lips. The mug rises up to meet them, and I sip it slowly, testing the heat level. When I've decided, I down the whole mug in seconds. 
Hot cider is the best.
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About the Author: Hodgey_36
Lilah Gentry
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