Writing Exercise

From a prompt:

Write about what you do to feel clean.

While everyone was praying at the common hall, I sneaked my way out of the retreat venue and immersed myself in the maze of vines. The ground was still damp, and the plants were wet with dew. Every time a leaf touched my skin it felt like a sacred tap, like a silent palm touching my forehead, my shoulder, my back — nature gave away her blessing in humble droplets. Each one wiped away a stain, a sin, a memory, a worry.

At the end of the maze was a treehouse. I climbed up, avoiding the trail of red ants on the improvised stairs. I held the moldy branches for support. Though they were firm, my limbs were not. I prayed a little, just a little, for this silent god to guide me as I worked my way up.

There – breathing hard, sweating harder – I stood on the ledge. The lake was vast, but the blue beauty was wider.

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