Sunday 15 July, 2012

Day 32 – The River Keeps Rolling


I should have planned this better. I am searching for my grandparents cabin on Sundog Lake. However, there are a few problems. I last saw it over 30 years ago, they sold it in the early eighties. It’s located on a small lake with no public access and only a few county roads that service [...]


I should have planned this better. I am searching for my grandparents cabin on Sundog Lake. However, there are a few problems. I last saw it over 30 years ago, they sold it in the early eighties. It’s located on a small lake with no public access and only a few county roads that service the area. In fact, what the map calls a road is really a dirt path cut through the forest, ending abruptly at private driveways. And by private, I mean xenophobic. Every turn sees a handful of no trespassing signs, alternating with private property signs. I don’t remember this, but then I was a child at the time and didn’t notice much. I chase several dead ends, catching just a glimpse of the lake, but nothing looks familiar. The strange thing is, the smell of the place feels right. In my time searching the forests I feel a bit like a kid again, out walking after one of my grandmothers tasty dinners. Strange how something as ephemeral as a smell has the power to move you, to bring a memory to life like nothing else. I spend a little time in the barely tamed woods, listening to the wildlife milling about, then turn and head for civilization.
I have felt this need to see the place for a few years, and it seems like more than just nostalgia. I want to connect with a family that is almost entirely lost. I want to experience the flashback of those cold mornings, the mist rising off the lake, a cup of hot cocoa in my hands as I sit next to a fire. That sense of all being right in the world.
Chasing that feeling of contentment seems like folly. I think the only way to move forward, to close the loop, is to make sure that the experience is created for another person, the next generation.

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2 Comments

  • Julie Ward says:

    I know exactly what you mean about longing for what was once home, comfort, security…being “right with the World” again. After 20 years in California, I moved back to Chicago 4 years ago and have not regretted it since. My family also spent lots of time in the woods hiking, camping, many trips to Michigan where much of my family still lives, canoeing, swimming, camp fires, scalding hot melted marshmallows, etc. It’s great to do all that again. And yes, the smells of things (even not so pleasant sometimes) can rush you back to another time.

  • Jack VanHesteren says:

    Scott, Love it!! Your extensive years of reading books, added to your incredible inborn talents for building friendships (with our beloved Sally, of course) have enabled you to become a very talented writer. Your description of your yearning to reach back into the roots of childhood memories and relive the things that were so warm, safe and so enjoyable are clinging to the roots of all of us. I can’t recall who it was that so profoundly stated “You can’t go back” (or something like that), but all of us have that yearning. And, it is much like the adopted orphans who have that inner yearning to seek out their blood parents…..Wish you great success in building on this excellent foundation for a book. Love, Jack


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