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The light of dawn slowly rose over the treeline, glimmering off of the dew still moist against the rigid needles of the rugged pine. Making my way across a field and down a small path probably used by deer or other forest animals, I came upon a swiftly moving river that I followed, traveling deeper into the forest.

The beauty of the morning surrounded me, and my eyes were filled with the sights of a new day. Birds flew high above and a gentle breeze caused the trees to sway slightly to my left and then my right. The smell of moss and dirt and moisture filled the air and, with each breath I exhaled, vapor caused by heat and cold mixing surrounded the space in front of me.

I came upon a steep incline, a waterfall formed by the rushing river and, rather than turning away, I chose to venture up its slippery rocks and steep slope. Grappling for handholds, I made my way up its side, often finding myself perched upon mini ledges desperately searching for better leverage to keep myself from slipping into the crevasse that I had just crawled from. With each clawing grasp I hauled myself closer to the top of the ledge, finally reaching it with arms burning, muddy, and wet.

The morning light pushed deeper across the land, out and over a small valley, beyond the rushing river, past small towns, and the bustle of big cities with airplanes and cars and people.

And I stood there in wonder of it all - surrounded by beauty and absolute silence.

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