Write about your favorite place.
There’s a reason they call it Pure Michigan. There is a vast sea of endless trees. The nights are quiet, where nothing can be heard but the sound of crickets or frogs. Farmland stretches for miles and miles, giving a chance for children to shout “There’s a horse! There’s a cow!” while driving down the highway. The waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula flow without ceasing. Deer roam freely in the woods, coming out to peak at you when the firelight is dim. The Great Lakes caress the shores on almost every side of the mitten-shaped state.
Nature at its best.
Through the trees, the lakes, the busy cities, the endless highways, and the number of creatures that roam the woods, I have a spot.
My spot is on the edge of a dock, near the smallest of lakes, where the fish come to bite and the waters are as still as can be. It is where the sun begins to sink under the horizon leaving an orange picture painted on the surface of the water. It is where the fish swim beneath my bare feet, close enough to bite but ready to swim away if I move too quickly.
Jean legs are rolled up mid-calf. Shoes are lying somewhere on the other end of the dock with socks shoved inside them. The smell of a distant campfire lingers in the air. The promise of s’mores or popcorn waits for me, to help fix the hunger the day’s activities left. The mosquitos thirst for the moisturized air as well as for my blood. Bug repellent has become my scent to wear for the summer.
Beside me sits a girl I’ve known my entire life. A girl that knows me better than almost anyone. Her feet dangle beside mine off the dock. The wind brushes her hair out of her face. She leans back on her hands to hold herself up. She stares off across the water and says, “I love it here.”
“Me too,” I reply. “For a moment, we can leave the world behind and focus on the present. Focus on what matters: family.”
The sun continues to set and stars appear. The stars normally hide behind bright city lights, where no one cares they are there. The Big Dipper makes itself known to me, dancing brightly in the endless combination of blue and black.
We pull our feet from the cooling water, lying on the deck to search for the stars. “It’s so peaceful,” I tell her.
“I could stay here forever and just forget the world,” she replies.
We know it isn’t possible. On the other side of the lake, people, animals, trees, and every form of life are waiting for us to return to reality. As we lose ourselves in nature, our family is checking their watches, wondering when we would return to sit beside a blazing fire and tell stories of our past.
When it’s late enough and we know our parents are worried, we rise to our feet and brush off our sandy jeans. We pick up our shoes and walk back to camp barefoot. The stones on the gravel path don’t bother us because we are used to spending our summers without shoes.
When camp is close enough, the gentle glow of the fire illuminates the darkness that covers everything. The song of the crickets emerges from within that darkness. Stories, laughter, and, in time, the faint glow of embers trying to breathe under the smoldering logs bring the day to a close.
The anticipation of morning sits with me as I climb into my sleeping bag. I anticipate walking through the woods, taking a paddle boat across the lake, riding a bike, and building enough sand castles on the beach to create a sand city. The greatest assurance I have is knowing that the boards of wood stuck together at the end of the lake, where the fish come to bite and the waters are as still as can be, would still be there.
Quiet. Beautiful. Pure.