Imagine a place that is so magical, possibilities seem endless, the sky tells a gripping tale and there is such a calm over you that you think nothing bad will happen. Life is good. What if I told you this place was roughly three hours from your home? It can’t exist can it you ask, but you are wrong. It does exist if you know where to look.
I was fourteen and it was summer. I was to go Up North to Houghton Lake, Michigan with my grandparents. They owned a nice house on a canal with a small clearing. I was not too thrilled on visiting a place that I had been to numerous times before. After all, it was just a house, a boat, some fishing and some deer. Nothing new. I was to be proven wrong.
I felt no different when I arrived there; I was tired from the car ride. It was hot but I did cheer up once I smelt the same old smell of the house and the smell of the water. It incited me with the clean smell, I wanted to grab a fishing pole and go fishing at that very moment. Yet, we had to unpack.
I grudgingly did it with my brother and cousin, just so I could relax and make failed but fun attempts to go fishing in the dark canal with the clean scent. I was a young teenager, I wanted what I wanted and only I mattered. Not the big picture.
The next was to get the paddleboat and get off the spiders. “Spiders?!” I said disgusted. “Jimmy or Frankie can do that!” Little did I know that my younger brother was afraid of them and there I was, checking and spraying spiders on this little boat.
My Grandma, Papa, Cousin Frankie, my brother and I all enjoyed a nice dinner with the pretty sunset. Yet, no fishing. I was disappointed until my Papa said we would have a bonfire in his clearing. Excited, we three children ran to the clearing to gather any sticks and grass. We also set out bread and salt for the deer and other forest critters. Despite my failed quest for fishing that night, a bonfire, the cool kiss of summers night air and s’mores was all I needed. I could feel the magic begin.
Suddenly night was upon us five as we sat around the bonfire, smoke lazily drifting to the sky and our faces a sticky mess of marshmallow and chocolate. It was then that I decided to follow the smoke and look at the sky.
I was stopped breathless at the beauty of it. The voices and the crackling of the fire got softer as I became lost in my thoughts. Millions, no, billions of stars shown in the sky. I was in awe, I finally understood why the night sky was so bright in stories, why the civilizations before us got lost in it. It held such a rapture, a beauty that is hard to describe.
I was lost in a story of the cosmos, the glittering stars telling me the big picture. I was not alone; the world was much bigger than I thought. Bigger than trivial things such as not fishing and giving me an understanding that I hold today. That every once in a while we need to step back and see the big picture; we are much smaller than we realize. And that everything has a place, no matter how small.
I felt the magic from this one trip– a magic that lives on today.
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