Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Quiet Place in My Head



When I am stressed out or depressed, I really do have a quiet happy place that I go to in my head. My place is everything that is good on this earth. It represents peace, which as far as I can tell is what I really want from life. Our family has been vacationing at Sugar Maple Lake in northern Wisconsin since I was a small child. My own children now vacation there and have since we returned from California.

What makes this place so special? The biggest town that the lake is near is Eagle River. Even though there's a fancy new bypass around the town, the main street is relatively unchanged. Some of the stores are different, but many remain, including the ice cream and candy store where I bought many treats as a child. There's nothing fancy about this town. The little town closer to the cabin we rent is even smaller. Phelps has not changed at all since I was a child. There is still a bar, a small grocery, a post office, a bait shop, a boat rental and repair shop and a cafe. That's it.

As a kid, my brother and I would ride in the back of the station wagon on the way up, counting cows and watching the puffy white clouds in the blue Wisconsin sky. The ride was long enough to really feel like you were going somewhere, but short enough that before you knew it, you were there. I loved all the little towns we passed through on the way as well. I remember throwing open the car door and immediately running down to the lake, just to make sure it was still there. We always got called back up to help unload the car. Mom was smart and packed our bathing suits and towels right on top, as she knew the first thing we'd be doing was going for a swim.

When I was younger, the week was spent swimming, catching tadpoles, playing board games in the evening and riding around in a rowboat with my dad's small outboard motor on the back. As I got older, I still swam a lot, but really enjoyed reading out on the raft and just laying in the sun on the pier. This was when I developed my love for that exact feeling, the one I go to when I'm losing it. My moment of true peace is laying on my towel on my stomach in the sun with my ear to the boards on the pier. It's more about sound than anything else. It's the sound of the lapping of the waves against the boat and the boats bumping gently up against the pier. I can instantly go there anytime I need to. It's the nothingness of the moment, I guess, that makes it perfect. It's knowing that there is no rush, that it's OK to relax and that in this place I am always surrounded by those I love. Having returned to this place as an adult, I can say that it is as true today with my family as it was as a child and a teen. It's a reminder of when all is right and gentle and perfect. I hope that my kids find their moment of peace as well.

8 comments:

anandamide said...

I felt calmer after just reading that post...thanks !!

Dale said...

I heard the same sounds this past weekend Ten S. and let them put me at peace too. It's such a lovely feeling, beans and all! :-)

Chris said...

Awesome post! My uncle has a cottage nearby in Minocqua that we used to go to, so I know how beautiful that area is. You experience sounds very similar.

Beth said...

Ditto Anandamide. Would you ever want to live there full-time?

Grant Miller said...

And yet you love Naked Raygun. Amazing.

Tenacious S said...

Respond all-Yes, it's fabulous. Yes, I love it. No, I could never live there permanently, I might turn into a serial killer. And even Naked Raygun lovers need a little peace and quiet sometimes. Besides, last time I was hanging with Jeff Pezzati, he was complaining about how loud the bands were.

Coaster Punchman said...

I can safely say that your Wisconsin vacations are better than my Wisconsin vacations!

Bubs said...

My youngest is on a Wisconsin vacation right now, lucky girl. I am here drinking coffee and sulking.