On vacation last month we traveled to visit friends in Wisconsin we had not seen in many years. As we followed the Wisconsin highway and turned onto a two-lane county road, then to the unpaved road into the forested overhang of our friend’s retreat home on Lake Michigan, we knew we were almost there. As it is with old friends, we fell into old habits of eating, drinking, story telling, reminiscing, filling our glasses again and catching up on the years in between.
A TRIP DOWN ANOTHER MEMORY LANE
But I must interrupt our current good time to walk the dog, Murphy, who travelled with us. So he and I trekked back up the long driveway to our friend’s house and I was transported to the Scottish Highlands, particularly the Isle of Skye.
I had visited the isle decades ago, where eight other tourists and I missed the last ferry of the day for the mainland. We ended up spending a night at the inconvenience of locals who found lodging for each of us, couples, singles (like myself traveling alone), and singles traveling together.
We spent a riotous dinner together laughing about how we had become so entranced by the island that we simply forgot to catch the ferry. At least I was not alone.
The road Murphy and I walked that day took me back in time to why I missed the ferry. In wandering the lush undergrowth that was so mysterious then, I decided–just knew in my bones–that elves had to exist on that island.
Did they call them pixies, sprites, fairies, leprechauns (no, that would be Irish)?
I could not see them, but I just knew (without really knowing) they could see me. They were watching my every move. And here again in this forest near the shores of Lake Michigan in Wisconsin I could feel their presence then and there again.
Were they observing me from the turn of the underside of a fern?
How small were they and how many were there?
Did they sit and twitter with each other about how funny we look and sound?
Could they leap from leaf to leaf to get a better view of us?
And did they listen from the creases of a tree?
Could they hide in the center of a flower, seeing us without being seen?
TRAVELING BACK IN TIME
I will never know the answers, but I will remember that unexpected overnight stay on the Isle of Skye. And then how my time in Wisconsin took me back, just as our drive had taken us back in time to visit old friends. What joys!
A TRAVELER’S QUESTION
When you travel what kind of alertness do take with you to explore even the mundane?