The Ardennes part 1 of 2

Uncategorized, Writing July 18, 2016

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I can’t find my pen, it’s gotten dark now, but it’s ok, a pencil will write the same words. The colours of the world have changed so much in the last few hours. I didn’t even notice, I was lost in another world, flipping the pages of my book until it got hard for me to read the words. The sun had set without me noticing and with it slowly the light had disappeared. I looked up in utter astonishment, and when I did my breath was taken away. Water drops and layers of dew and steam fogged the windows. Obscuring what was outside, covering the world which was now in warm shades of red, orange and yellow where street lights were turned on and in shades of deep dark blue and purple everywhere else.

It’s just me and the sleeping truck drivers at the side of the road. Occasionally other people stop and blind me with their lights and often more than once as most go on again soon. But it doesn’t bother me, not really, I’m safe in my cocoon of dew covered windows half open to let in fresh air, an old blanket covering my legs and a small light which I use to devour every last bit of the story printed on pages turned yellow with the years. I haven’t read a book in months, other things kept me busy, and I had forgotten how good it felt to shed off everything and disappear into another world for a little while. Not much different to what I was doing really. Taking the car on a whim, throwing in a carelessly packed backpack and a quickly scribbled note saying Breda – Antwerp – Brussels – Namen – La Roche.

I’d left my phone at home and instead taken an old Samsung with only my mum’s number on it, in case of emergency. I had two days for my adventure, and it was more than I needed. I’d only left home a few hours ago, but already I felt free. A peace had replaced the constant stream of thoughts and worries and all there was left was the singing of the wheels touching the tarmac, the soft blowing of the wind, the chirping of the birds and the strangely comforting mix of truck drivers talking next to one of their idling vehicles. I could have understood what they were saying if I’d tried, but I didn’t, I didn’t care about anything but the feeling these rich background noises gave me. Somehow they made everything seem far away, and even though they were so very rich, at the same time they gave the illusion of quiet and stillness, of peace.

The road the next day was beautiful, I’d passed Namur early in the morning and soon after reached the mountains. One lane of wet blackness wound over hills and through valleys. The view often obscured by tall trees and thick bush, with occasionally the valleys below peaking through the wilderness. It wasn’t raining where I was, but it must’ve been somewhere. Newborn rivers and streams had made their homes on the road and in every ditch I saw. Rivers ran brown and wild and just before I reached La Roche I’d passed a camping spot entirely flooded. The river had overflown and expanded to the camping grounds. It now ran in between campervans and out the front of the main buildings. A big group of people were working hard to keep the situation under control. I was in a different place now, a different world, one where nature still ruled.

Words and picture by Isabella Prins

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