Counselor Hunt

The ground angling down to the shore is precariously lined with dry, brown pine needles over soft soil. Roots arc up from the ground, twist and dive back, creating hazardous steps as I descend, sidestepping slightly for balance. Sunlight filters through ashes, birches, and firs, pale and green-scented on my face and bare arms.

The rock is warm, the lichen soft-green and dry on its surface. A watery breeze drifts over the shoreline here; there sunlight breaks and glitters on the pond. My body settles into the saddle-shaped depression at the rock’s center, my back against the dirt rising back up from the water’s edge.

The pond laps at the rock, a soft splot-splot-splot. A motor boat whirrs over the water past Blueberry Island like an industrial dragonfly and the wavelets amplify against my perch: splot-slap-splot-slap. Voices and laughter and raucous song drift over the water, tumble down the embankment from the forest trail above as campers in groups wander the acres, searching.

Water snake, peeper frog, pondweed, canoe, a kiss of shadow as a cloud slips past the sun. My thoughts empty, leaving space for fleeting observations.

Fill with deeper thoughts. Summer’s inevitable close, the crisp breath of fall in a new place, a shift in my life’s center of gravity. A dull ache between my shoulders muscles ahead of thoughts; I sit up and stretch, awareness and blood pushing back into flesh.

The heat from pond-mirrored sun dusts freckles on my skin, infuses my hair with the smell of summer, and I settle back into the hard saddle. The quiet cove down the shore is thickly skimmed in waterlilies, recently opened, nodding gently on the nearly still surface.

Footsteps above. I still myself, breathe quietly, drawing the air in silently. Giggles. I am found.

For this week’s memoir prompt, we’re going to let narrative take a backseat. Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breathe the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.

22 responses to “Counselor Hunt

  1. Pingback: RemembeRED – Sensory Detail | Write On Edge

  2. Well, I think you certainly answered the prompt on this one! Full of ‘sensory detail’. I love this: ‘a kiss of a shadow…’

  3. Perfect. You brought me to the moment. I especially heard the voices and laughter drifting across the lake.

  4. Wow! That was so vivid. I particularly like the image, “A motor boat whirrs over the water past Blueberry Island like an industrial dragonfly”.

  5. Reading this, I was right there. Wonderfully done, Cameron.

  6. Oh, that sounds wonderful. As my toddler whines in the next room all I can think is, “Please? Transport me????” 🙂

  7. every word is important

    I ran from this prompt until I read your excellent piece. I may have to make an attempt.

  8. the writ and the wrote

    Beautiful. Reminds me of a place I used to go.

  9. I love this stolen moment of your own.

    I don’t know if anyone else could make me WANT to see lichen, but you did. That’s saying a lot.

  10. And she knocks it out of the park…


    Just lovely. Beyond.

  11. Your writing creates a picture in my mind. How lovely a moment alone must have been! My favorite part was about the change of seasons, so true to what that feels like. I love the sound of water and you brought that to life too!

  12. I want to be there in that place lying in that saddle shaped depression with the water washing over me. giggling…. awww

  13. Well done! I felt just like I was there.

  14. I was right there, even the giggle was perfectly placed and the water…splot, splot, splot..what a great way to describe it.

    your hide and seek, spoiled..foiled in the best way. 🙂

  15. Well of course you found every detail! 🙂

  16. This was really awesome. I felt like I was there with you. Great job!

  17. Roots arc up from the ground, twist and dive back,

    This line just works so well. The personification is just right.

    With all the gorgeous description, I think the pensive, shifting to real-life mood is what lingers.

    Camp was so magical for me, and I, too, missed it before it was over.

  18. That was so rich. I haven’t hidden by a pond’s edge in some time, but you fully reminded me of all the sensations of being there. Wonderful job.

  19. How I’d like to be sitting there right now!!

  20. Oh thanks for this walk into your world you painted perfectly!

  21. Simply beautiful. You captured every color, every sound perfectly.. Moments like these are so peaceful!

  22. “Water snake, peeper frog, pondweed, canoe, a kiss of shadow as a cloud slips past the sun.”

    This. This right here. It’s so damn poetic and descriptive and perfect.

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