This story was sent in by Siggy Spelter in Phoenix, AZ. Siggy writes, “This story is about one of my last days of so-called “freedom” before adulthood, and the only appropriate way I could spend it.” Here is his story:
I knew I shouldn’t go. I was 21 years old, soon to be a college graduate. There was one thing that stood in my way. The course was Medieval Spanish Literature, consisting of twenty-four total assignments which should have been spaced out evenly over a whole semester. I however, had left twelve assignments to the last week. They were lengthy too, based on readings written in the equivalent of Shakespearean Spanish. It was awful for me and the one week left in my childhood. Still, I just had to go.
I had to see Lake Superior one more time.
One of the first vacations I remember was a trip up North. I also became close with a girl there while in college. Maybe that’s why I feel so at home there. Who knows? It’s hard to explain love or tranquility or home in ways that make sense to anyone else. Their authenticity can only be felt on the smile warming my face and the calm soothing my heart.
It’s always spectacular the first time the lake comes into view. The oaks melt into white-skinned birch and towering pine. Then there it is. It appears from the top of a hill or a break in the trees, the shimmering sapphire sea glistening like a mirror beneath the envious copycat sky. It takes your breath and eyes and holds them for a few moments before only reluctantly letting them go.
I hummed over trails and smooth stoned beaches, places with names like Tettegouche and Gooseberry Falls, enjoying the crisp closeness of those pristine northern woods while never hiking too far away from that beautiful blue. It was spectacular that day, dressed up as if it had known I was coming. The water and the sky melted together so perfectly as if they were two magicians performing the same trick. The bluffs and peninsulas, rustic with pale birch all kneeled into the smooth, shining water humbly like they were believers on pilgrimage, like me.
At the moment, I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. Graduation, the relentless coursework beforehand, not to mention the job I had accepted in hot, far-off Arizona. I never realize the impact of vast changes in front of me until they have happened. Maybe I just don’t care. I stroll along like I did through those crisp greens and celestial blues and I simply smile and laugh just to forget the future. Superior was beautiful that day, blue and calm and stretching silently away into a seemingly possible eternity. I enjoyed every minute.
I left the Midwest a week later. All the work, all the pressure from the course, from moving across the country, found me. Yet I got it done. Somehow, the work always gets done. The days I never regret are when I take moments and seize them, all to enjoy being alive. I’ll never forget taking that day to sit on that eternal shore and bask in that beautiful lake.
Thanks for sharing your story, Siggy! It is always nice to take a breather from a stressful situation, to sit back and enjoy nature in all of its glory.