We were slowed down as it descends

We
drove past the guardian of the enchanted forest – an ancient yakal tree, known to
some sort of mythical wonder. It stands in the middle of the road elegantly
like a sentinel of secret bliss and delight. It reminded me one of my mom’s road
trip story – how loggers were bestowed illness and misfortunes upon their
attempts to cut down that particular cherub tree. That fortress protects the flimsy
forest from maleficence. I slowly closed my eyes as the luscious ambiance
welcomed us like the universe embracing a sprouting seedling, showing its
marvel. Leaf-decorated path guided our journey towards self-discovery and nature
trek. The oddity of my dad’s wicked smirk disturbed me, so, I willingly fixed my
eyes on the daring car that overtook us despite the sharp curved road ahead of
us. My dad’s incredible focus on the road made me wonder. Does he consider this
haven dreamland like I do?

I
stick out my head, gazing beneath the blurred car mirror, water droplets
rolling through the windowpane. Car lights, road reflectors, and the moon
appeared to be the source of light in this botanic wonderland. Nevertheless, the
woody paradise awed me as we lurked deeper in the mahogany-brown forest. Drizzles
were slowed down as it descends to snapping branches of the leafy flora,
settling unto the dampen soil. The symphony of chirping crickets calmed my
pulsing heart. Rustling leaves twiddled in the northeast monsoon. Zephyr flew
along the dark-green foliage, blowing cold breeze to crispy ferns resting on
mossy mountain rocks. Nimbus clouds impeded the breathtaking view of the Milky
Way Galaxy. Radiant flower petals rather sparkle alongside the road like shimmering
stars in the cosmos.

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The
forest’s grandeur stopped my time. Its warming beauty resembled a mother
caressing a fragile body like of a child’s. An epitome of grace. From the mist
to the fireflies, everything felt right. This normal trip was rather soul
soothing and heart haunting. I felt home. The picturesque forest has brought
back my favorite childhood memory.

A young girl in loved with nature –
that’s me. Our home, a simple hut in barrio, was the perfect avenue for my
fondness in trees and plants. I’ve watered shrubberies every day and cried
wholeheartedly over the seeds that didn’t sprout. Coconut tree, rice paddles,
streams – I’ve enjoyed them all.

As
we continued, my dad swished his dashing forefinger to the blank road ahead of
us. The corner of his lips curved slightly upward, complimented by the sudden
sparkle in his brown eyes – facial expression he makes when recalling a good
old memory.

“A
monkey has wandered and crossed that alley over there. You should have seen
that once in a blue moon event, my dear. But you’re such a sleepyhead!” My dad
exclaimed.

The
world is changing at a rapid-fire pace. The sight that my dad has mentioned is
long gone now, and probably will never occur again. My reminiscence didn’t stop
the car from running. Distance between sprawling trees became wider as we went
on. The wood creatures’ screeches diminished. Civilian shelters started to replace
the thick canopy alongside the artificially lit road. People descend from
stretched back cars buying snacks probably for some other trip. This expressive
trip is bound to end.

I
rested my back against the car seat and saw the townscape. I started missing
the earthy smell. Suddenly, I felt like a grown up again, a much older person.