Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words. Cable up!

This morning, as the sun began to wake, I felt my ends warm up ever so slightly. Inhaling deeply, I willed the sun to warm me up from bottom to top but it would not come on my schedule. Taunting me with it’s slow rising, I continued to attempt to pull the warmth. Very gradually it began to come, only to have a cloud taunt me; wiggling across the sun and ruining my light. As the cloud draws its middle over the sun I feel the bitter chill of the wind, rising up from the water and showing no mercy in its path. I shiver from end to end, quaking in the motion of the wind. Just when I think I’ll never be warm again, the cloud shifts and I feel a touch of sunlight. As soon as I can make out the bottom of the sun’s round body, I feel the hope of a beautiful new day.

At the bottom of the hill, a young man is beginning his first day on the car. He is a ball of nerves and excitement. Watching him is like watching popcorn pop – everything is calm and then a shriek of excitement gives me the quivers. The job is not difficult but it does require perfect precision and no fear of height! I want to reach out and tell him that I will be here, sturdy and strong, and will not yield to the nefarious wind. He hops into the car and begins to head up the hill. Slow and jerky, the riders will be in for a rocky treat today. Many apologies will be given. Some will enjoy that they are the first to ride with a new driver, while others will hop off early, angry and irritable and make the rest of the way by foot. Stomping up the steps, they will forget to turn and look down and miss the beauty of the view.

When the sun begins to set at the end of the day, it feels as if all the world is going to sleep. The busyness of the streets is replaced by the quiet, slow strolling of young couples and elderly dog walkers. The young ball of nerves has become a confident driver, satisfied and anxious for the next day. For now, he reflects on the day and the people he met along the way. I pull from post to post, allowing the weight of the cars to pull me deeper. Giving into the stretch, I breathe deeply, allowing the weight of the day to float off and away. The sun lowers itself in the sky, seemingly much faster than the speed at which it rose this morning. It changes from the bright gold of the afternoon into a deeper yellow, then a burnt orange and then into a full red, peering through thin slivers of clouds as it hides itself away for the night. A slight glow lasts for a few minutes after the sun has gone, allowing passers-by a few extra moments to tuck themselves away for the night. I close myself off for the day, looking up at the first stars as they appear in the darkness.

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Written by the cable car wires, with love and remembrance for today and hope for tomorrow. In response to the Weekly Writing Challenge here: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/writing-challenge-1000-words/. Leave me a comment with the link to yours!

Daily Prompt Jan 24: Ready, Set, Go to Disney!

Walking into the gates, they are packed full of people. There are park maps on either side of the entrance, which seems rather small for getting in this insane number of people. But it doesn’t matter, we know what awaits us. And for the lucky ones that don’t yet know what lies in store, the excitement is palpable. After crossing into the other side, the world opens to us. Now I see why there are two small entrances – it gives all guests the opportunity to breathe in the magic before feeling pushed by the crowd. In front of me lies Main Street, U.S.A, the happiest place on Earth. I look ahead at the castle, which appears to be glowing in the distance despite it being morning and the sun is high and beautiful in the perfect blue sky. Before the castle lie numerous shops, all of which will invite me in and I will gladly join. Emporium is the most fabulous, with souvenirs and treats for everyone. The road may lead to the castle but in front of me, the road is in a circle, with a brick oval in the middle; the perfect place to meet your favourite character and take a dozen pictures. That will wait until later. Right now we are on a mission – Splash Mountain in Frontierland. I quickly get my bearings and head in that direction, relying on memory to know which way to go. There is no going back for a map now. The kids are ahead of me, as overcharged with excitement as I am. As we turn away from the castle, the crowd starts to dissipate and we feel like we own the park. Venturing into Frontierland, the landscape changes to a Frontier town and we see Donald Duck to the right with no one there with him. This is our chance! We stop to see Donald and get a few amazing photos that we will cherish for years to come. After we leave our favourite Duck, we head to the Splash Mountain entrance. Walking through the tunnels, we can only imagine how many people wait in these lines. We quickly get to the front of the line and see happy cast members ready to get us onto a boat. Only a couple families are ahead of us. We get our own boat! Hopping in, we eagerly await the music and fun that awaits us on our favourite ride. Today is my favourite day! As the boat sets off, we are reminded to stay in our seats. We know not to get out after being stuck in Indiana Jones once before – those vehicles are a lot higher up than they appear. We travel through dark tunnels, illuminated by dancing and singing creatures before heading up the top. The big drop! Will we make it? The vultures don’t think so.

DPChallenge: Morning Swim

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Before: I jumped into the pool and swam to the other side.

After: I glanced briefly at the water before jumping in. The sun glistened through the windows and onto the surface of the pool, casting light grey shadows on the bottom of the pool with little twinkling stars floating on the surface. No one had broken the perfection of the top of the water yet, although two red and white lane ropes ran from end to end cutting the pool into thirds. It was like they were part of the pool structure though, immovable and permanent, red on the ends with white in between. The water moved ever so slightly, shifting the twinkling stars around like little buoys. In a few minutes the sun would move and be gone from the surface but in the meantime I dawdled in an effort to prolong the beauty. From my left I heard a “splash!” and in that instant, the water went from serene to beaten. Splashy, angry little waves struck the edge, and several “sloops” were heard as the first waves were sucked into the filters. The lane ropes helped to calm the waves but they would not halted. “Slap, slap, slap,” went the arms of the other swimmers as they began to jump in in droves now, one after the other. It was time.

I chose to jump in the pool, deciding it would be preferable to get my feet wet first rather than my head. In that split second in the air before hitting the water, I cringed at the thought of being cold, and wondered what was in store for us in the pool today. Then the feeling was gone. My feet hit, enjoying the cold water, but as it rose to my chest I felt the chill. After my face hit the water, I allowed my body to sink to the bottom. As my feet hit the tiny tiles on the bottom, I shifted into gear; it was time to work. My feet pushed off the bottom, thrusting my body to the surface into a horizontal position. My head cradled in the wave I was creating in front of me, my feet propelling me forward with their constant flutter, and my arms creating ovals through the air and water. As I approach the wall, I shift my stroke slightly, pull harder underwater and force myself around in a somersault. Pushing off the wall is the best part of the length; using the force of your biggest muscles, the body is propelled much more quickly and out you go, streamlined and ready to take on another length. As I push off the wall, the swimmer behind me is entering it, pushing me to go faster in the next length to avoid the dreaded touch of the swimmer behind on my feet. Looking ahead as I glide forward, I can see the other bodies moving through the water, with their shadows visible on the pool bottom. The lane ropes stretch from end to end, looking endless, appearing to stop only when you are touching the wall. Back and forth, back and forth we go. Shifting my gaze from the bottom of the pool to just in front of me, I know where I should be looking but can’t resist the temptation to stare at the shadows and light dancing on the bottom.

Over and over again the arms and legs of the swimmers are drawn through the water, each one purposeful and beautiful and unique. It takes less than 15 metres to get into the rhythm and to hear the beauty of the noise, everyone being in a slightly different spot in their stroke but coming together into swimming symphony. In each moment, someone is starting a breath, another is finishing, a few are stealing a glance onto the pool deck, but all of us swimming. Each of us alone in our thoughts but together in the pool making beautiful music.