Reminiscing That Night’s Walk

27 July 2013

Travel Writing Essay: Walk to Granchester

There was no sign of danger in the air, so we walked on. Confident that we would reach our goal shortly, we struggled through the black of the night with the only single beam of light we had managed to muster. The beam of light from the headlamp of the girl in front. The branches of the trees hung shallow, pressing against all sides of our bodies. Every so often one would impede on our pathway, or in actuality we would impede on its. We always won the battle of space, the branches were no match against our perseverance to move onward.
The pathway curved along the River’s edge, the surface of the Cam glistening like silver in the illumination of the full moon and the tall grass casting its long dark shadows against it. It had a haunting type of beauty, I felt as if the scene could consume me at any moment-taking me hostage into the night. Yet I did not fear because I was not alone. We were girls, but we were many, and we were tough. It felt unreal, it felt like a haunted fairytale. It was too perfect not to imagine all the different scenes that could play out in a setting such as this. Some good, most bad, yet all full of the mysterious… We hurried forward while the river’s playwright continued to unfold in our path. The creatures of the forest came to life, and I began to formulate their stories on my own stage. Imagination and reality became one and the same to me. Sunken sea monsters and pirates rose from the banks chasing the damsels further into the murky marsh. We weren’t running yet but we were moving briskly. For the past thirty minutes we had been at the mercy of our imagination.
Soon we came to the end of the entangled trees and back to hints of humankind. There was a street lit by a few street lamps and some scattered cars outside darkened houses. It was odd to experience such a drastic change of scenery, yet I still felt as vulnerable as before. We had only a few steps further before we would enter the open fields ahead and reach our goal. The end of the road was still in the distance, yet it was close. My imagination no less vivid, I scurried with the others along the cobbled stones. My heart began to speed up. We had escaped our enemies thus far, we could make it. In a few moments my feet would feel the comfort of the soft meadow, that gave me hope.
We were there. Standing at the edge of Granchester meadows, looking into the distance I could see nothing yet I knew of the its beauty. Enough trips during the day had painted me a picture that was with me even now. The sound of the wind rustling through the grass and the smell of fresh dirt embellished the moment even further. We had made it, now we could wander to the river and complete the feat that we had set out to accomplish. We were about to take the plunge into the dark abis of the Cam and experience the cold shock- yet fulfilling satisfaction that would surely come after we had dried and warmed ourselves from our night’s swim.
And then crack of thunder quickly followed the thread of lightning that whipped across the sky. We were damsels in distress. All the imagination had become reality, and now we were really vulnerable.

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