This story intends to tell us how much nature means to us.
|She knelt among the ashes as tears rolled down her eyes. Things had drastically changed since her last visit here. The place where she was standing right now was no longer her place of refuge from the world. This place used to be her sanctuary, but unfortunately, no more.
She had reached home only yesterday for her vacations. She used to study at a boarding school. Her school was in the heart of a city and there was hardly any greenery there. She had dedicated the whole academic year to studies and wanted to spend the vacations in peace. After spending the last day with her parents, she had especially reserved this day to visit her beloved childhood hideout. Early in the morning, she had enthusiastically got ready, and packed her lunch too so that she could devote the whole day to the woods.
As a child she went there when she was sad or stressed or even when she was bored. Merely the walk towards the woods had never failed to raise her spirits. A narrow cobbled path from her home, which was bordered on both the sides by tall trees, led her to the woods. The path was as beautiful as the woods itself. The trees formed a shaded arch of leaves above her head, which gave an effect of coolness and peace. The floor was always littered with leaves fallen from the trees, which crunched as someone walked by. But any one rarely went to the woods, which was why she would always be at peace here.
But her hideout was not any part of the woods in general. It was little meadow at the edge of the woods. The meadow too was surrounded by trees. One side of the meadow was covered by a patch of beautiful flowers. Beside the patch of flowers several vines reached the ground from the trees in such a manner, it seemed to make a cave. The meadow was naturally fenced because of the trees. The meadow also provided a perfect resting place. The roots of a tree were a little above the ground and a large quantity of moss had grew on it, making it a soft pillow to rest your head. She would often lay there for hours reading books. Sometimes she knit or paint here. Once she came here time would always fly by rather quickly. It was a completely peaceful place, with birds chirping in the background to provide soothing music. The meadow was a home not only to birds but to little squirrels as well. The place really was a sanctuary not only for the little animals but for her as well.
But as she walked down to the meadow today she was unaware that her little meadow had been burned down a month ago. A highway was to be constructed and so a large part at the back of the woods had to be burned away. She walked down the archway which fortunately had not been destroyed. As she drew nearer to the meadow she sensed that something was amiss as the woods seemed quieter than usual. But as she reached the meadow she could not take in the site she was seeing. She kneeled down and tears began pouring out of her eyes. She felt as if someone had ripped away a part of her heart. All the peaceful moments and memories were snatched away with her meadow. The highway stole away her hideout, her sanctuary.