The Land of Childhood

The morning smells of dew soaking the grass and dirt. It’s a fresh, hopeful scent. The sun casts shades of pink and oranges into the faces of the dew. It peeks through the canopy, trees parting only for the lake and the sun.

The sun rises on my right, the deep forest in front of me and to my left. Behind me is the place I call my true home. I wrap up with a blanket and a cup of morning coffee.

The orange and brown cushions are rough on my fingers, but sturdy in their wicker frame. A kerosene lamp sits on the table to my left, a kiln in the left corner. Bugs buzz outside the screened-in porch. Cicadas drone from the trees, from the earth. The crisp, morning air makes the cicada cries more clear and alive.

Loons glide on the lake below, leaves parting to show the calm water. Their call is a sweet, yearning warble, a low whistle. No one comes to our part of the lake. It’s secluded, even more so when the fish are spawning, and boaters are prevented from coming into our own personal little cove. I could swim the lake without worrying about company. The silence of it all heals my soul.

In the woods, I walk the trails, avoiding the large spiders stringing their webs up over the walkway. I emerge into a meadow and I swear I can taste the flowers, their sweetness accumulating in my nose and throat. Hidden in the leaves of the flowers and weeds hide little treasures. Fuzzy yellow caterpillars, spittle bugs, monarch larvae. It’s early summer, and the world is still new, not yet preparing for fall. The summer feels external, like I’ve already reached heaven, and there’s no better place to be.

Ladybugs land on my arm, butterflies cross my path, meandering to the nearest flower. Woodpeckers tap away in the distance, red-winged blackbirds take flight. My soul took flight with it, carrying me over the land of my childhood.

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