Monday, June 2, 2008

Found Treasures

I promised that I'd write about where I'd been:

Two weeks ago I spent time at my family's lake house in northern Michigan. And despite the cold (fire was the only source of heat) and the somewhat remote location of our cabin, I never felt unengaged. That is, there wasn't a time when I was bored, when I longed for the television, or even a movie (and I brought my laptop just in case).

In between hiking through the woods and discovering a pile of stones reputed to be the foundations of an ancient farmhouse, hunting for fossils on the beach (my brother found one, I didn't…but his fossil mistakenly got packed with some of my found treasures), and rummaging around the attic and old barn, my days where filled.

My brother and I found a few things: my father's diary from 1957—from which we read aloud to the hilarity of the rest of the family, we rediscovered the hayloft in the barn filled, oddly, with timber and an overstuffed chair from the 50s that the mice had had their way with, and we stumbled across the rules to the skeet range from the 40s-60s. We read the first rule: 'Absolutely no drinking on the range'…and my father wondered aloud if a sober breath had ever been pulled there.

There were other, more minor discoveries as well: family photos, and old books made new again, plus a return to simplicity.

Now, back in my day-to-day life, I try to hold on to the feeling of easy expansiveness and to remind myself not to get too bound up in things. After all, I am still the same person who tried to sneak up on a wild turkey…just to see what would happen.

What happened? My brother and I got within two feet of it, when it exploded upward out of the underbrush and scared the hell out of us. Then we went to the orchard and began a debate about crabapple trees.

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