Superior gave her all this weekend — one cooing loon, two Canadian border agents, more rootbeer-colored waterfalls than I could count, and three 40-degree nights snuggled like caterpillars in cold-weather sleeping bags and multiple pairs of socks. The mornings’ reward for emerging was breakfast burritos and strong coffee around a fire, which is almost like metamorphosing into a butterfly.
The peace and closeness that came with driving 8 hours north into a land of birch forests and fudge shops were super strong, enough to leave me feeling hollow when we returned. Work has been a doozy. I’m swamped with normal human trouble, the kind that sounds really silly when you’re not in a swirling iron lake state of mind. Somehow, standing by Superior leaves me wanting to jump off the social media train and the major life event train and basically just stay cocooned on a rocky beach as that last layer of wool hiking sock slowly cuts off circulation to my big toe.
There’s something that sets me at ease about the contrast between the immovable, sun-soaked boulders of the beach — where we sat and snacked and watched the sun set — and the constant, sometimes violent wave action. My mind finds its happy place between the frantic motion of work and the gridlessness of maritime time. It’s easy to laugh. At small dogs in sweaters, at a man with a giant belt buckle proclaiming him to be GUS, at kids climbing lighthouses for the first time (“That was scary…but cool…but more scary”). This is the twilight realm that allows roasted marshmallow sessions twice in one night.
That one-day holiday weekend difference (spent beside those wild waves) left me all confused and flustered returning to Real Life, where people are still saying stupid stuff, where vacuuming is a thing, where we have to have a plan for the future. I’m ready, I think. To buy wedding gifts and juggle sources and even keep my dishes clean, as long as I can sneak in more time by bodies of water this summer, completely checked out from the hassle and hustle (just me and C and a canoe rental).