After wandering the world for a year, I yearned for home. The one place that tugged on my heart strings most was Mackinac Island and I planned a trip there months before I returned to Michigan. I have never lived there and the only thing it houses are memories. This magic island however, encapsulates the things I love most about the USA and the state I grew up in. It is a perfect slice of American pie that satisfies a soul searching hunger in me every time I return.
I have visited twice since being back. The trips stand vivid and tall, like two bookends surrounding my summer. The first was a spring visit, full of lilacs and the joy of reconnecting with my parents. The second was in the heat of late summer. I spent time with a new soul in my life, native to the island and fellow world traveler, who gave me a glimpse into parts of the area I had never seen.
Adjusting to my life back in the states has brought a flurry of thoughts and emotions. There has a been a drastic drop in the feeling of being connected to this earth and the places that make me feel alive. Yet returning to the island gave me part of that back. The island means so much to me and has motivated me to write again, breaking the silence since returning at last.
The island is the whirring of bike wheels and the wind through my hair as we fly through the forest under a canopy of green light. It is the scent of lilacs that hang heavy after an evening rain. It’s white picket fences framing gardens galore. It’s the slowing down and breathing the fresh air of the present. It’s the quaint street lights at night and the quiet that follows shortly after their glow. This place is the ever changing water that shifts color at every depth and curve. It’s the cedar groves that make footsteps quiet and birds that sing overhead. It’s the clip-clop of horse hooves on beautiful bluffs lined with old Victorian homes. It’s a little piece of my heaven with a lighthouse shining just off shore.
I can try to describe the island with my best prose and ponders, but I won’t do it justice. It’s a place you must go and leave the clutter of your daily life at the dock. Take the boat across, stay a while and let the magic take over.