An Experience to Forget?

As the bleary clouds gradually pulls away from one another the illumination that emanates from the radiant moon becomes clearly visible. The murky vapour, about half an hour previously, which gave the impression that it was embodied into the fabrics of the environment created a clouded screen which impeded the vision of the distanced scenery. This gradually vanishes as light from the moon brightens the region.

The adjacent meadow next to me is a prevailing feature in the nearby area: each blade of grass is discrete, sharply defined and glazed with a thin layer of frost; mixed into the turf are faint patches of bronze coloured crops and behind this are rows of shrubbery which are tinted a shade of green. Encircling the pasture are birch trees. Devoid of any leaves, leaning to the side and seeming pale and slender they appear like gaunt skeletal palms that were reaching out for an unknown, mysterious purpose.

The peacefulness of the night, almost instantaneously shatters as a storm erupts. A torrent lashes down at a high speed ricocheting against the jagged path which stretches out through the middle of the meadow. The rain is vigorous and scourges my already cold body. My situation had been just about bearable several hours previously when it was slightly more temperate and still daylight. However as the darkness set in I could only stumble, falling occasionally on sharp rocks and unrefined pebbles, which left me with painful injuries.

The piercing chill of the night makes me reluctant to attempt to find authorities in the deserted Dartmoor country or even to leave from the tattered ‘camp'(if you could even name it that), which I have very shoddily and quickly created in order to protect myself from these surroundings which are very unaccustomed even wild to me. This landscape is littered with unusual greenery and wildlife which are so different to my home region of Southern Italy; in fact I already have had an unpleasant reaction to a plant which has left my wrist turgid and swollen.

Surely you must be wondering how I ended up in this condition? The truthful answer to that question is that it is unclear even to me. Back in Italy many people gave me pleasant reports about the captivating scenery in Dartmoor and the enjoyment they had on an expedition here. Since I am a person who is fascinated by quaint landscapes and relaxed adventures, I could not resist the temptation of being here myself. This morning when I first set out on the excursion the weather was reasonably pleasant although slightly chilly.

However, while in the middle of my hike at about two or three o’clock, the ambience slowly became increasingly unpleasant after about an hour there were near gale force winds which I can only describe as wrath from heaven itself. I was dehydrated. My head was throbbing. I lost control. Screaming what I thought would be last words, I cried: “What have I done to deserve this!? ” I think I may have fallen unconscious but the experience was all a bit ambiguous and unintelligible. I felt confused and lost, I tried looking at my map but I was feeling so dizzy I could barely interpret it.

Despair. Complete despair are the words that can best describe my situation, I feel confounded, lost in an environment which I am not used to and one that I realise that I am helpless to do anything about it. Crouching down and hunching in a torn sleeping bag, as I peer around, I can faintly hear the close-by river in the background of the storm and the rumbles of thunder. The gentleness of the sound in comparison to my surroundings and its flowing water soothes me and it brings me back to my joyful infanthood in the picturesque, awe-inspiring Italian summer.

In the bay of Naples, the majestic sun could be seen gloriously rising above the horizon. As the day steadily grew hotter the radiating light brightened the cold, grey sky into a vibrant yet soothing cyan. The sun created a mesmerizing mirage which shimmered into the depth of the nearby ocean. Slowly the earth and creation were coming out of hibernation and into life. There was a feeling of awe in the atmosphere and a sense of the start of something sensational. The sand along the shore was glistening in the heat of the sun. Encompassing the sea-side were smooth pebbles and a variety of shells with vivacious colours and different sizes.

I can remember one shell in particular attracted attention, it was coloured a delicate beige but with strands of deep purple embossed with particles of golden sand, at one end it appeared as if it were an enthroned King with an elaborate crown with glossed decorations. The other end was dominated by a curved abyss embellished with an exquisite magenta. The Atlantic Ocean, which was exceptionally tranquil that morning, sparkled in the distance. Its waters gave the impression of an everlasting quantity, yet it still appeared inviting.

It created a wonderful sea breeze which gently brushed against me; there was also a salty aroma which had a sense of authenticity to it. The delicate, enchanting sound of the sea brushing against the shore’s numerous boulders and stones soothed me and made feel almost at one with nature . In my home town beyond the shore of Naples, there was emerging from the distance, scattered clusters of people. A faint scent of Mediterranean cuisine was arising from the local cafi??s and restaurants, within an hour there was an energetic buzz within the region.

In my minds eye I could still see the pier extending about twenty metres out into the depth of the sea. On it were several ornate amusements, which were garnished with lively colours ranging from a royal blue to pale green. There were echoes of ecstatic friends of mine; we relished ourselves in the opportunities of excitement available on the pier. Behind the pier was a magnificent Merry-Go-Round, it was laden with a rich diversity of colours and it was adorned with pretend gold and jewels. Next to this was a colossal Ferris-Wheel which surpassed any other altitudes in the area.

In contrast, aligning both sides of the platform, were fishermen who practiced their profession with an eerie sense of separation from the rest of the people and seemed to be in solitude. As midday approached a restaurant serving local fish would begin to make preparations for lunch and there was always a delicious odour of roast haddock tainted with a lavish honey fragrance oozing out from the building. The locals would flock some around the restaurant anticipating the delights concealed within.

Appearing to become even colder the winds increase in speed, the effect of the weather becomes even more drastic upon me and penetrates through my layers of clothing. Suddenly the weather awakens me from my dreaming and brings me back to reality. As I reflect upon the memory I realise combining all these subtle, minute elements in the environment has made that summer exceptional and close to my heart. Although perhaps my former self was oblivious to all these intricate details, one can look back from an age of maturity and truly appreciate these events.

When remembering that event my morale seems to lift, even though my current situation is one of desperation, the pleasant memory satisfied my soul and gave me happiness from within. The rainfall also seems to become more intense and I feel as if I am about to catch pneumonia. As my suffering increases so does the desire to be consumed in a recollection. As I find myself drifting off again, I see myself in my mid-adolescent years; I remember thoroughly preparing for examinations which allowed me to graduate from middle school. At that time The Victoria Park was my refuge.

This was an outstanding place, an oasis in the middle of a desert because its beauty contrasted so much to the bleak urban settlement that surrounded it. Its splendour radiated a sense of awe and it gave all the inhabitants of the close by town a sense of pride. In comparison to its dreary surroundings the park was picturesque and inviting. The grass was crisp and freshly moist with the morning dew. The trees, which were shaded in a deep, rich mahogany, overshadow the park; so the bright, harsh rays of sunlight did not spoil its delicacy.

I could hear the soft flow of water from the stream gently brushing against the smooth pebbles in the distance, as the wind delicately whistled past me. As I revised for my exams, the peace it emanated had a unique quality of tranquillity and peace that was incomparable to anywhere in my home-city. As I result I passed the tests with flying colours. Eventually, I am motivated enough to attempt to rescue myself, thanks to the pleasant reminiscences that uplifted my spirits. I am determined to succeed even with missing equipment, I refuse to let the situation fall through my fingers.

Focusing like I have never done before in my life, I worked out where I was on the map by looking at my positioning in comparison to the stream and a landmark I could make out in the distance. I have I all the inclination necessary to return back to civilisation. .Perhaps this is an experience I would rather forget… or possibly I should encourage others that is absolutely vital to keep all your experiences close to you maybe you will rely upon them one day just like I have.

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