The scenic views that keep her sane


The autumn trees changing color on the drive

Laying underneath the weight of college applications and AP classes is a seventeen-year-old girl whose anxiety has taken over her emotions.

Driving home from a dinner with friends, she’s contemplating which assignment to do first and what application to submit that night. Her long driveway is growing near, her hand is about to flip the turn signal, and her foot is hovering over the break peddle, but neither of them makes contact. 

Her car glides past the driveway and continues on the road, no destination set in mind. She’s soaring cautiously around the curves as the concrete becomes narrower; with a stop sign approaching, she decides to contemplate where this path is taking her.

A turn right and then left leads her to be driving into the sunset under an arch of autumn essence. An unknown road near her home, far enough to leave stresses radiating within those four walls, yet still close and able to feel the comfort of its presence. 

The curvy road extends out in front of her as she cracks the windows open to let the fall air fill the car. The sweet scents of a bonfire and its cedar embers floated through the wind through one window and out the other.

The tunnel results in her turning left, leaving the apricot glow behind, and a full moon forming ahead.

The music coming from a CD stationed in the car is playing at a murmur as she embraces the scenes in front of her. The trees above her fade into the sky, and the houses that were previously on the road beside her have turned into a large field. The sun is sinking into the grass radiating an auburn hue, turning her previously white car to orange and flooding her sight. 

The next turn would normally lead her home, but she was not ready to plunge back into reality. She passes the road that would send her back to normalcy and progresses down the windy path.

As the trail continues on, and she remains the only soul driving down it, another tunnel of red and orange appears overhead. The tunnel results in her turning left, leaving the apricot glow behind, and a full moon forming ahead.

In her review mirror, she watches as fading orange orb reflects onto the moon in front of her, creating a rosy tint over its craters. The moon guides her home, the CD is playing the first chords of its last track, and the windows have been rolled up again.

When her driveway is approaching at the head of her car once again, she decides to pull in. The whispers of the last song are coming to an end as she turns off the engine and steps out the door. The sun is gone, and the moon is a prominent vision. 

Reality comes spiraling back as she enters her house, but now with a sense of clarity and encouragement. 

The seventeen-year-old girl is still lying under the stresses of senior year, but the sunset’s autumn spirit and the moon’s sense of closure have eased the pressure just enough for her to breathe a little bit better.