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Camping on the Banks of the Missouri


S. J. Martin

Calm. Peaceful. Serene. There are infinite ways to describe it. Quiet. Relaxing. Placid. The Missouri River. The place where I would be content to spend forever.

As I lay back on the warm, soft blanket of sand, the river sparkles like a thousand diamonds. Out of the corner of my eye I can see the glorious choir of cottonwood trees, swaying to the music of the wind. I close my eyes to better hear the voices of the river and forest, blending together in perfect harmony. I fall asleep.

I am wakened by the cool nip of the river on my toes. The cottonwood choir has stopped, only to be replaced by the sweet orchestra of grasshoppers, owls, crickets, and an occasional coyote. When I open my eyes, I am lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the silver ribbon left behind by a shooting star. Surrounded by millions of winking stars, the moon glows in the night sky. Out here, far away from the lights of the city, one can see where an angel ran her fingers through heavenís river, leaving a trail that reminded someone of milk.

I get up off the now cool sand to douse the glowing embers of a fire now long asleep. As I step inside my tent, I take one last look at a perfect masterpiece. I go to sleep dreaming of the beautiful sunrise that is sure to be my alarm clock.

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