Lovely, Hated Home

At times I feel both blessed and cursed by my birthplace. I was born and raised in the city and countryside of Michigan, a state whose weather defies qualification, where water leaks out of an even slightly big hole, and trees continually fight farmers for their right to the land. Deer and coyotes invade the cities, reminding us of our tenuous hold over nature, and squirrels are so rare in the country that to see one is a surprising joy even as it creates sorrow to know it probably won’t live long in a wilderness dominated by hawks and the occasional raccoon or coyote.

Michigan is a state where the line between man and nature is both definite and uncertain, if you have the eye to see it, and that is what captures your heart so that, when traveling to the most rugged mountains, flattest plains, or endless oceans, you find them lacking to the blend that Michigan offers. If you desire rocky hills, the upper peninsula is the best attraction (from what I’ve heard. I’ve only been there when I was a child, so I don’t really remember). If an unreachable horizon is all you wish for, the ice age was kind enough to carve away the hills in central Michigan so that you need never meet the end of the horizon. And if you have an unquenchable love for water, you need never go unsatisfied. We have streams, ponds, rivers, lakes, snow, ice and, of course, we are surrounded by the beauty of the Great Lakes, bodies of water large enough to fool you into thinking you are gazing upon the ocean if not for the lack of salt in the air and water.

It is a beautiful place, my home, and it pains me to think that I will one day have to leave it. As much as I love traveling, no place that I have been to yet has had the beauty to match that of Michigan. How can I possibly find somewhere else to live?

Yet, each new place is exciting, fresh. I am offered a view of life without water in Arizona, constant mountains in West Virginia, and a diverse culture that varies with the landscape in Scotland. Having Michigan constantly tugging me away when experiencing so many new things is a pain. How dare it?

We have a love and hate relationship, my home state and I, and I don’t mind all that much. I think everyone is like that to a certain degree. We want to leave the home of our parents but we secretly yearn to return, we want to escape the small town we’ve grown up in but miss the peace it offers, and we want to travel but miss our home state, even our home country. We are always drawn back to our roots, no matter how far we go in life.


Take A Break

I am an easily stressed person. Even if my life is going considerably easily, I still find ways to become stressed. I’ll worry about things coming up in a couple of months or how tired my parents are starting to look. When I have a reason to be stressed, it consumes my thoughts and I have trouble sitting still even if there isn’t anything I can do about right at that very second.

So, sometimes, I just have to find a way to escape.

Now, normally my escape is books but when I’m in college, reading for fun is not an option. It instantly consumes me and the option of actually doing my homework becomes more of a suggestion. So, I’ve turned to coloring. For Christmas, I asked for some coloring books and now, whenever the stress becomes too much, I turn on some instrumental music and color.

There isn’t much that can make my mind go blank, but coloring manages splendidly. It takes the knot of frustration, fear, and… just general angst and smooths it out gently, as I’m rocking slowly in a boat out on a lake with the sun shining down and warming my skin and a light breeze wafting past my cheek. It gives me the inner peace that escapes me most days.

So today that is what I want you to do. No, not color (unless you are inclined to do so, in which case I heartily support you). Today, I want you to stop and take some time for yourself. Do whatever it takes for your inner peace to smooth over your soul. We all need a break sometimes.

Refreshing Rain

Rain has so many different connotations on society today. In movies, the most sorrowful scenes are guaranteed to have, if not a drizzle of rain, a downpour. Scary movies will have a thunderstorm, as will the biggest battles of action movie. But when did rain become so negative?

Rain is a wonderful thing. It cleanses the earth of ill humors and nourishes life. The cacophony of thunderstorms and the flash of lightening can be the perfect accompaniment to a bad mood as well as a beautiful showcase of nature’s fury. It’s soft patter lulls you into the deepest sleep so you wake up feeling as refreshed as the world around you.

Rain reminds me of younger days, when I would run out into the downpour and feel the droplets course down my face. After twirling in the rain and getting so wet that I couldn’t remember what it was like to be dry, I would come inside and read a book. After all, what better occupation is there for a rainy day than a good book?