YouthVoice Project – Of The Birds by Marina Oquendo
Of the Birds
She was flying, simply soaring through the beautiful clouds, gazing at the scenery. Hundreds of times as fast as any other bird, so while she excelled they were mere blurs. At the speed she was going everything seemed only a minuscule dot on the map of her life. Pausing for only a fraction, but a fraction still, of a second to do a loop-de-loop, the clouds formed into graceful, leaping and amazing dancing figures. The crystal clear ocean started to look a little bluer as she lowered towards it. Now there was nothing in sight, but the presently emerald-like majestic sea. Quickly approaching an extensive boardwalk, the playful chittering of birds filled her ears.
The vast, open world stretched before her. On the boardwalk countless people of all kinds were busying themselves with a variety of activities. And all were unaware that she was watching. Waves rose up from what seemed like nothing and soared until they threw themselves upon the beach relentlessly. Seagulls flapped their wings in the sweet, soft breeze.
As she slowed to a spiraling descent its true meaning was a little bit clearer. Flipping like a flower petal on a thundering, stormy night, she entered the sea with a purposeful splash and was swallowed into its depths. Under the immense wall of water, she survived as easily on one side as on the other. All sounds but that of rushing water were completely and utterly drowned out. Silently darting by sea creatures of all kinds were seen by her eyes, though she was unseen by but one of theirs.
Resurfacing, a mass of kelp strung around her neck, and she emerged with pride as if to prove something to someone. Warm and powerfully bright burning sun dried her long black glistening feathers. They whipped around in the now strong wind. Her wings caught the beautiful evening light, a blinding light rising high up into the sky. The city sounds now registered within her senses. Bridges seemed like tape on a broken picture. Everything below her, and everything above might stretch on forever, or be one of thousands of illusions.
Somehow, it all seemed ancient. Tall, dark trees rose high above the ground but appeared as big as pebbles too like a patchwork quilt pictures of the scene below her fit together in a beautiful blend. Many thoughts rushed like a river through her head and out again. She felt like a stitch on the quilt below her.
As dusk set in as slowly as the mountains grew layer upon layer, the sun turned a blazing red. Fading to starry brightness she could still see, even better than in the daylight. Her surroundings faded to a starry brightness that engulfed the world around her in a spell of sleep. The ever so bright, beautiful white moon was nowhere to be seen. Twirling and gliding in her swift return to the beach, the world seemed at peace.
~By Marina Oquendo, 14 years old from San Luis Obispo County, California