I always get a little antsy during the long Michigan winter, marked by its gray skies and bitter cold. I’m starting to crave all things summer: sunshine, water, trees and flowers in full bloom. I want to fall asleep to the gentle melody of a million crickets and wake to the sweet sounds of the birds singing. I need something to elevate my mood. It’s this time of year when my thoughts always wander to Mackinac Island.
As I close my eyes and drift into daydream, I can hear the Lake Huron waves lapping at the Mackinac Island shore. My bare feet dangle in the brisk water that pulls at them in perfectly timed motion. As I sit atop a large boulder just off the Island shore, the sun is shining, and when I look up, I see the tail of a kite floating effortlessly in the slight, warm breeze. I can hear pure delight in a child’s laughter in the distance as she learns from her father the art of skipping stones. I hear the faraway clip-clop of horse’s hooves as they pull a carriage full of passengers to their next destination. I can smell the sweet, sugary scent of homemade fudge that all visitors have come to know wafting from the vents of the local fudge shop. My senses are overwhelmed with memories of this special place I have come to love.
I cannot wait to visit Mackinac Island this summer. I wish I could describe the magic of the Island to those who have never been there. I have always believed the best experiences in life happen when all five senses are engaged at the same time. These moments are rare, and few places have this effect. Mackinac Island is one of those rare gems. It’s impossible to visit this island and not hear, feel, taste, smell and see the magic.
As my daydream goes on, I envision all the things I want to experience on Mackinac Island this summer. I want to hike along the wooded trails and rest among the vibrant, purple- and yellow-hued wildflowers. I want to ride a bike around the Island, stopping along the way to discover breathtaking views and take in the technicolor backdrop. I want to get lost on the paths and inhale the crisp smell of pine as the wind hits my face.
I want to walk by the water and view the Mackinac Bridge in all its glory, a proud passageway to the beauty that awaits visitors in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I want to sip wine on a Mackinac Island dock and marvel at all the sailboats as they pass by. I want to visit Fort Mackinac and learn about its rich history. I want to feel the cool blades of grass tickling my feet as I walk barefoot through Marquette Park, absorbing the laughter and energy of the children and families that surround me. I want to relish the happy glow of those children’s faces, knowing that these are moments they will remember forever.
I want to sit on the balcony of a downtown hotel and drink coffee as the sun rises, listening to the shrill of the seagulls as they dance along the shoreline. I want to stop, take a breath, and inhale the sweet scents of the flowers I pass as I stroll along the sidewalks that line the Island’s quaint cottages. I am always amazed at the incredible flowers on Mackinac Island. The scent alone infuses me with warm, happy feelings that flow through my body and relax me completely.
As I awaken from my Mackinac Island daydream, I realize I am ready to face the day. I know the beauty and respite that await me in a few months. I will see you soon, Mackinac Island. I can’t wait.
By: Kami Kennedy