Pedaling through the slumbering town of Mackinac Island, the smell of bubbling fudge drifts on the breeze.
I brake for a muscly team of work horses clip-clopping toward the ferry. “Morning,” nods the driver looking like a slice of antiquity.
“Morning,” I reply, the sound of my voice reassuring me this is not a dream.
Waves of purple potted pansies bloom upon a gabled porch adorned with seafoam walls and creamy white rockers. Above a picket fence, gnarly limbs of lilacs intoxicate me with their fragrant scent.
Pedaling out of town, along the perimeter of the island, Lake Huron appears honey gold in the morning sun. The screech of a solitary gull interrupts the rhythmic lapping of the waves. Silhouettes of rock cairns dot the shore.
To my left, craggy cliffs soar into a pastel pink sky, a gentle breeze whispers through pine-scented boughs, and wild trilliums blanket the forest floor.
Around a turn, a winding lane appears, leading up into the center of the island. It beckons me to explore. Switching gears to low, I turn and determinedly pedal, hoping to make it to the top without stopping.
I struggle but finally reach the peak of the island. Propping my bike, I rest on a boulder. and unwrap my morning purchase– a freshly baked cherry scone dripping in almond glaze. Slowly, I savor each buttery bite.
A barge looms in the distance. Faraway, an eagle soars. Solitude reigns.
Refreshed, I point my bike down and coast effortlessly all the way back into town.
Clip-clop. Clip-clop. Town bursts with activity. Tourists scurry into souvenir shops, hoping to capture the heart of the island. Few will succeed, for the island’s heart lies not in the activity but in the solitude.
While writing, I choose where I want to go, what I want to create, how I want to feel. With the thermometer resting at 5 degrees, I can choose to smell lilacs, hear the lapping of the waves, feel a sunrise. Burdened, with a new to me gluten-free diet, I can even choose to enjoy a cherry scone.
Thanks for reading my words from the prairie.