Anna Connors (2nd year) has won the overall young writers prize in the Leitrim Guardian Young Writers Competition. Below is Anna's winning essay is the winning entry. Congratulations on a great achievement!
Picture Left is Anna and her English teacher Ms kennedy
The Lake Silent giants loom over this sacred land, protecting its beauty, the breeze gently rousing their leaves. Their skin, rough and hardened hold stories of mystique and wonder, their wizened faces hold knowledge. A thin lining of fog writhes around me, dampening the evening sun as it settles. The birds’ chorus in delicate tinkles which sounds mesmerizingly haunting as it fills my ears. A glimmering silver hue seems to drape this forest, filling me with a feeling of awe. The air is crisp as I reach the edge of the forest and the pungent fragrance of pine welcomes me like an old friend. The soft swish of the lake in unison with the gentle swaying of the rushes at the banks and the rhythmic chirp of crickets is an orchestra, playing the perfect symphony. We used to come out here every weekend, you and I, and fill our souls with the happiness the lake used to bring. You would weave the delicate little wildflowers into a crown, and you would call me the princess of this wild and magical place, and you would be King and the worries of the world would evaporate for a few moments. As I look out over the lake, I see the sun fall behind the horizon, the sky smeared with blood red, tinged with salmon and peach with undertones of indigo and plum. It won’t be long before twilight captures the sun and releases the stars. You always told me that this was a golden hour – full of magic and allure. I can feel your presence with me, I can hear your laugh in the breeze. It is a year today that you departed from this world and yet it feels like it could have been this morning. The lake is glimmering under the ethereal glow of the sunset, making this place so heavenly, but how can it be after what has happened here? When I look out over this lake I see you – once so familiar, now so distant. The glimmer that was once in your eyes has now been placed onto the lake, the radiance of your smile in the sun. This was once a place I knew so well, but it has so many hidden depths it is now an enigma to me. The beauty and serenity of its waters masks a deeper suffering and pain, unknown to many who go there, but reflected onto you. That night that you went down to the lake without me, the lake stopped bringing happiness to you and you never came back. I now weave a crown of wildflowers sprigged like the finest of jewels, and I place it on the water for you. I whisper my prayer to you and let the flowers drift away from me to be stolen away by the lake, like it stole you. I am now ready to leave this place, knowing that you are here Grandad, embodying the place we both loved, protected by the trees and befriended by the birds, I hope you feel that you are no longer alone, like how you felt when you came here to the lake, one year ago.