A Crayon, A Silly Penny, and Being a Girl

A penny looks out at the scenery from a gap in the rock at Big Spring.

A penny looks out at the scenery from a gap in the rock at Big Spring.

by Annette Jenkins

Today at Ozark National Scenic Riverways I was fortunate enough to see the largest spring in the world, the appropriately-named “Big Spring.” I’ve seen springs before, but today I was astounded by the colors that overtook me.

Huge grey boulders in the river were thickly crusted with lime green moss. The water flowed cerulean, the one crayon in the ice cream bucket the kids and I at daycare would always fight over.

A clear blue sky stood next to baby-green grass. Brown and tan rock cliffs hung over the mouth of the spring, jagged and sharp. A tourist had stuck a shiny penny face-up in a crack of the rock wall so Honest Abe was staring right at you. A small cave just deep enough for two or three grown men to crouch in sat at the bottom of the cliff. The normally dull, ragged, algae-covered rocks beneath our feet were worn shiny-slick from tons of visitor traffic. They were grey and white in color instead of dirty and black.

Color overthrew me today. I got sentimental, turned into a complete girl, and wanted to weep. I stood silent to let it all rush in, like the sound of the water hitting the boulders as it flowed out of the spring. I closed my eyes and appreciated it. What a beautiful world we live in.

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