I didn't want to go on the walk. I was happy to be home alone, but then Mum said something about how I never do anything and I could feel that familiar tug of guilt, like a knot tightening in my stomach. But, I will admit that it is pleasant. The sky is so far, so far away. And blue, a deep and heavy blue scattered with cotton wool. The grass waves in emeralds and there are small red rubies growing on stalks in little patches in the meadow. I look back at the river, flowing with endless meander. I want to follow it. Forever. I want to stay where the world is vivid and wide. The colours fade and the awe I was being gripped by fades with them. That's what being fourteen is like. We see things in excruciating detail and then they blur into the hustle and bustle of trivial life, trivial tribulations. The weekend is so sweet. School is stress and work and fatigue. There are but small escapes in school: friendships, breaktimes, books. Poetry. Music.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet but death by another name is not as sombre. A natural death is not a murder. A lustful kiss is not love. We learn this as we rise and fall like the seasons turn - with them we waltz through the thick constricts of time which grasp us heavy by the limbs, pull us faster and slower, but never leave us be. Youth is pure ecstasy but as we grow it is tinged by our expanding knowledge of our constant state of transience. We live, we die, we feel. There is a fear. I'm not sure what of. Of growing old, of staying young. Of being treated like an adult, of being treated like a child. Of dependence, of independence. Teenagers are living paradoxes. Everything we do is superfluous, exaggerated. Big words, big ideas, nothing can be small. Everything is significant.
Fourteen is the time when most begin to blossom, begin to open their eyes to something they couldn't see before - maybe something that wasn't there before. People look... different. People begin to become strangers. So we divide, but we re-group and we change who we are and, most importantly, how people see us.
We have reached the part of the path where you have to turn away, out of the sight of the river as the brambles are too thick to carry on walking by the bank. It saddens me, strangely. Everything seems blander, less crystal and sharp. I wave goodbye to my few minutes of reflection and step into the dappled shade of the trees.