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Optimistic Darkness


As I walked along the trail, the wind rustled the deep-green leaves in the tall trees. I could sense everything in the forest that day; the soft whispers of the tall grass, the chipmunks that silently skittered across the trail, the lullaby of the creek as clear water trickled over smooth stones.

But there was something else. A light, joyful presence, a presence that made the whole forest stop to look. It made me stop and look too. I stood in place, still as a statue, looking for whatever creature created this magical atmosphere.

And then I saw it. Quick as a flash, a burst of color in the green leaves above. It zipped past me, and towards the small patch of flowers on the edge of the trail. Only then was I able to get a good look at it.

A hummingbird, each feather meticulously crafted by Mother Nature herself, shimmered in the dappled green-gold light of the forest. Miniscule bright eyes glinted mischievously as iridescent wings moved back and forth so fast that they were merely a blur. Its tiny body shimmered in the sunlight, capturing all the colors of the rainbow.

It perched gracefully on in a nearby bush, and that bush seemed to quiver with delight at this pint-sized miracle. The hummingbird chirped sweetly and fluffed itself out.

And just like that, the hummingbird spread its miniature wings and was gone as quickly as it had come.

The Hummingbird Clare McDermott
Clare McDermott, 12
Madison, WI

Optimistic Darkness Daania Sharifi
Daania Sharifi, 13
Gainesville, VA