The rustling of leaves, the chirping of crickets and the pitter-patting sound of leaking water (from a small hole in my tent) in the middle of the night scared me to death. I kept tossing and turning in my sleeping bag, in the midst of a tent (that I had put up myself and was very proud of it) in order to try and achieve a tiny bit of sleep fighting against my biggest fear of DARKNESS. Oh why had I listened to my mom and what on Earth had made me agree to come here for a camp full of adventure activities during my summer vacations?
I lay there on my back; my eyes fixed at the top of the tent not moving at all. I don’t know why but I felt that if I moved my leg out of the sleeping bag, a monster might appear from nowhere and eat away my leg. I stayed like that; God knows for how much time more with mixed feelings. I was already scared but at the same time very excited. I had no idea what brought the excitement but I knew it was something related to me going out and exploring a new world. I was completely going bonkers! How could I have wanted to go out if I was so scared of the dark? It was just like two contradictory voices were speaking at the same time inside me and the former had grabbed control over my mind as I wished to follow it.
Initially being hesitant, I got into my night gown, wore my slippers and headed out of the tent. I kept consoling myself with the thought, “I am brave and I have eventually come here to fight my fear.” So there I was, in the middle of a camp ground in Sat Tal, standing like an idiot, trying to fight away a silly fear.
My hands clenched into fists, my whole body had stiffened, while my nose was letting out incredible sneezes (although it was a warm month of July). I headed to…….actually I have no idea where… with a short, timid, baby-like stride. I kept walking for quite a long time, passing dozens of tents with snoring noises till I reached a cluster of oak trees. Thankfully the moon was out in the clear sky, but to my fearful mind, the atmosphere looked more spooky than enchanting in the silvery moonlight!
Never in my life had I seen such tall and bulky trees. Recalling all the geography I had ever learnt in my life, I got to know that they were evergreen trees with lush green leaves and thick brown barks. Without a second thought I began to climb the tree. Normally a person would feel that I am insane but I am used to being called so when it comes to climbing trees. That’s something I enjoy a lot.
Within a few minutes, I was quite above the ground! I was still away from the leaves but way above the roots. Not knowing what to do, I started looking around, trying to observe the view. Just a few yards away, I could see glistening, sparkly water that seemed to be a lake. It looked so pretty with the reflection of the trees and its surroundings that I quite forgot about the darkness. I was too engaged in its beauty to get distracted by such things. I stayed there for quite a long time because as I realized it was time to get down, the Sun had started to rise. It spread various colors such as orange and red all around which on mixing with the blue sky made a perfect picture for an artist to paint. I could hear the rustling of leaves and chirping of birds again. However, this time it was not scary but very pleasing.
On getting down the tree, it suddenly struck me that I HAD OVERCOME MY BIGGEST FEAR and I was NO MORE SCARED OF THE DARK. I let out a sudden cry of happiness and ran around very happily.
Soundlessly, I crept into my tent and heaved a happy sigh and slept without a sleeping bag and without the thought of a monster. Oh! How silly can someone get?
I slept for quite a long time that I didn’t get up any soon. But when I finally did, I went out to find my friends already awake chatting. I went up to them and got to know that they had gone on a morning walk. They told me that they had tried to wake me up but I had been in a very deep sleep. One of them said, “Oh, I pity you coz you missed all the fun.”
However I could smugly say, “What I saw and experienced, none of you would have ever seen!”