The Looking Glass

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A Place That Gripped Me

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To the untrained eye, it is a little run-down cabin off of a dirt road, across a river that barely gets high enough to swim in. The ideal spot for angsty, rebellious teens who use their fake ID to buy alcohol, break in, down Twisted Tea’s until the world spins…wake up the next morning, leave the trash, and escape like nothing happened.

But to the right eyes, it’s not just a little run-down cabin off of a dirt road, across a river that barely gets high enough to swim in. It’s a little run-down cabin filled with decades of family history. If you listen closely at night while the squirrels parade through the roof, you can hear the walls reminisce on times when my father and uncle were kids, playing cards and running from the harsh winter winds on the way back from the outhouse. Too close in the summer, too far in the winter, they laugh. The old chimney will sigh with happiness when it’s used again, marshmallows rolling in it’s flames until golden brown. It’s the green tin roof and red siding that make it look cozy. A canopy of trees hug the perimeter in hopes of getting a taste of the sweet memories made here. To the right eyes it’s an escape not far from home, but perfect to disconnect: late nights watching the sky in hopes of seeing a shooting star; cool early mornings of summer, waking with the birds and boiling water over the fire for coffee.

It’s a little run-down cabin off of a dirt road. The kind that has a few houses and one hippie shack at the very beginning, and then nothing for the miles it continues on, save this little run-down cabin. It’s the kind of dirt road that picks up dust when cars drive by, but the dirt is so compacted you couldn’t imagine how it was possible. Soft enough to run barefoot for miles, like the earth is planting gentle kisses on you to welcome you back to simpler times. The road has kissed my parent’s feet, my grandparent’s feet, siblings, friends and my own. Little waterfalls line the road, fresh water springs dribble down into eagerly awaiting mouths, magic that is the best water on earth.

It’s a little run-down cabin off of a dirt road, across a river that barely gets high enough to swim in. Every winter it freezes over; come spring, it will awaken with a crack and a groan as the ice melts. Like mini glaciers, pulling rocks and parts of trees to new areas, reshaping each year to welcome new adventures. It’s a river riddled with cairns and rock designs, a natural kind of art. The trees hug the perimeter more closely here, to join in on the laughter and smiles that accompany a hot summer’s day. The tall grass sways happily to the symphony of the water. Here the fish join you in your swims, or perhaps they are defending their territory. Nevertheless, they tickle your toes if you stay in one place too long. There is a constant battle with the current, as it urges you down to explore further parts of the river.

To me, it is more than a little run-down cabin, off of a dirt road, across from a river that barely gets high enough to swim in. To me it is a little sliver of infinity.

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