Tous le Mondes Début

October 13, 2017

In 1953 a man with the name Preston bought approximately 16 acres of lakefront land on the outskirts of a small town known as Sanford in the county Midland of the state Michigan.  This property held a two story farmhouse 3 roads and stunning views of Sanford Lake.  Over the next few decades Preston would subdivide, give away, sell, and surrender the property to friends and family alike.  On this land my grandmother would be taught to garden.  My mother taught to love.  And me taught to do so many, for this land full of lush trees, tranquil waters, and green grass I would grow up.  Where a whole word of first would be explored.  Every year returning to the same spot to see the same people, every year growing a little older.  Where bleak winters and vibrant summers would sculpt me.  Where mier days and joyous nights would shape me more than ten times the time in Tucson.
For the first ten years of my life going to this magical place meant all the same things.  Seeing my Aunt Mary sweet as ever welcoming my family to her home.  The neighbor Jess, Vietnam vet and proud marine, being the kind old man he always was always perched on his porch.  The girl next door about my age who for the time being was a good friend.  The boys from one street over always playing around and dragging us into trouble.  The lake’s blues singing us to sleep after our long days about.  And the rugged forest winds whistling the day away. 
Soon however things changed.  My dear Aunt would grow old, lose a child and husband, but stay ever so sweet.  The neighbor Jess who as I grew old noticed his time that he spent motionless on his porch just across the way, that he was half way around the world wresling with the demons of earlier days.  That the good girl next door would bring some bad exploits to my life.  And that the boys one street over would cause more trouble than they were worth. 
For this place suspended in the Michigan woods would show my life many firsts.  The streets that bind it is where I learned to ride a bike.  The grassy meadows that filled it are where I would first meet a lifelong friend.  The wooded area in the middle is where I would first kiss a girl, and the bushes to the north where I would first make out with one.  And the front porch of my aunts house where I would get dumped by one.  The bridge crossing the creek is where I would first pull a crank call, and the first time the boys wanted to get me high.  The lake where I would first skinny dip with the girls and first drive a boat with the boys.  The tree that I first climbed.  The creek where I would first catch a frog.  The roads where I first drive a car.
Where I learned that the boys got me into a little too much trouble, where the girl and me would have a little too much fun, where I rode my bike a little too fast, and cried a little too hard, where I stood a little too tall, and felt pretty damn small. 
And now as I walk the land I see so clearly all my life condensed to one 16 acre plot.  The meadow where I took her on a date and the utterly romantic bush where the make out session ended with my sister tagging me out at second and chide me on the way home.  Where I thought it would be cool to try this new thing on my bike, but the only cool thing was how the ice pack felt afterwards.  Where I tried my hand in fishing only for it to end with me cursing out the fish holding the s***ty pole I had now broken.  When I didn't know that kid got really aggressive when doped and would have chosen my actions a little differently.  When I learned how responsive that gas pedal is and almost murdered the minivan.  Where I learned no good thing starts with “Bro look at this” and no good thing ends with “Can we talk?”.  This land was the preamble to my life and person as I am today.  So someday when I say goodbye to it for the last time I can also thank it for the lessons I learned there and the times I loved there, that would help me become the man I aspired to be.






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