The City and the Forest – by Samuel Cromwell (College)

Every morning she drove bumper-to-bumper downtown and every evening after dinner she drove the other way, down a long highway into the forest. She would imagine the taste of the pine-sap air all day in her office cubicle. Yet when she finally strolled among the tree trunk halls and under the foliage roof, the metallic tang of sterilized air would not leave her tongue.
When she drove to work, she felt small, like an insect. The buildings were hard, towering stalks of concrete, clustered together. Satellite petals. A root system of hollow parking tunnels. Neon light attracting bumble-bee helicopters.
When she walked the forest trails, she stopped to observe the paths of the bugs. She touched the ridged bark of the trees. Listened to the bird calls. But it was always the Bluets that centred her the most. Their thin green stems swished in the wind. Somehow— an honesty to their brightness. She bent close, watched them, and thought to herself that no skyscraper could swish in the wind like that.
Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-02
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