This is actually a prompt from the Creative Writing class I am currently taking. I decided since school and music have been consuming most of my “free time”, it would be fun to merge the worlds into one and share one of my recent pieces. The prompt was to write about a place that is dear to you without revealing what it was and to create the world in a camera view (so it starts as a long shot, moves to a middle shot, and ends on a close-up). Enjoy! 🙂
The land of ten thousand lakes, though I think they stopped counting now. Here, we grew up going camping for our family vacation. We didn’t travel to exotic places or even tour other states. We went to State Parks. We hiked, biked, swam, had campfires, ate s’mores and hot dogs over the fire, and played. We played from sunrise to sunset. During the day, I loved to walk to the lake and skip rocks and find the pretty ones. They were all pretty. My pockets full of what I thought were precious stones. In the evening, we told ghost stories and sang silly songs around the campfire. I was never quite ready to leave.
When you grow up in a loud and constant city, it is nice to get away to someplace more peaceful, where the pace is slow and easy. It’s amazing to be able just stop moving, sit down, and smell the forest or hear the trickle of a stream. It is sometimes hard to get away or make plans and coordinate with others as you get older and everyone else has families of their own. One has to improvise.
I look around the busy streets, but no one else is taking the time to appreciate where they are, because they are too focused on where they are going next. Stop lights that never seem to turn green quite as fast as you want them to. Someone else is always in your way. It’s always someone else’s problem. There’s never enough time and always one more thing to get done.
So I make time, on a Sunday morning, to sip on some coffee and go for a little walk. I often go to my favorite place. Even if it is special to others and I am not alone, I still feel like it is mine.
Tucked away on the other side of the river, they kept its cobbled stone sidewalks. The narrow path by the river with benches to sit and admire the beauty of nature in the middle of the city or maybe see the delicate balance of each intertwined. Two of my favorite cafés are waiting for me, like old friends.
One of the cafés has live music, mostly in the evenings, but also Sunday for brunch. I walk in and say hello to the faces that change constantly yet this café and I remain. I order my coffee, with extra sugar and cream, and I sit to watch as the band plays swing music on stage and lively couples get up to dance. I smile at them, joyfully and longingly. My desires, they are well known by these walls and by this place. I often bring my pen and notebook to write my thoughts or any song lyrics that may pop into my head.
Last spring, before it warmed up and the patio was full of paying customers, I would order a beer in the afternoon and sit out and play my guitar. I would stare out at the river and into the city and watch everyone walk by with their dogs, friends, partners, and kids. Some would turn to smile at me while I played and some did not even seem to realize I was there at all. Neither bothered me. I was in my own world of creation and admiration, anyway. Nature is the place I go for peace and the city is where I feel connected. Here, I have both of what I crave, of what I need. Even if I am alone, I am not alone.