My blue heaven
For much longer than I can remember, my grandma has owned a little blue cabin on the shores of Intermediate Lake, Michigan. And when I say cabin, I don’t mean one of those quaint-yet-simultaneously-the-cost-of-my-tuition cottages. I mean leaky roof, one bathroom, zebra mussel cabin. I mean memory filled, unconventionally beautiful, blue heaven cabin. This is the cabin where I grew up for one week every summer. I traveled up with my family, bunked with my sister (literally—we had bunk beds) and delighted in a whole week void of responsibilities and reality.
Every time I returned to my blue heaven, it embraced me with consistency. The rickety dock from little feet running to see crayfish, the crumbling fire pit from nights of s’more contests and campfire discussions, the sandy carpet from days spent making teetering towers and temporary tapestries, all reminded me of summer spent in sameness. Each year we spent in a similar simplicity: We would lounge on the beach, go into town for penny candy, visit Pirates Cove for mini golf, lounge on the beach some more.
But the most relaxing part of the vacation was not our little excursions, or lack thereof, but that it acted as an excursion from everyday life. That little cabin is where, for one week every summer, I escaped to a place untouched by time. No outside world existed; my worries of the approaching school year, friendship drama clouding my thoughts and fears of what the coming year would bring all faded away. Instead, my anxieties went out with the lazy tide, my worries melted under the summer sun. As I laid in the hammock with my book and ukulele, my little blue cabin harbored me from the only constant in my life: change.
We are always changing and growing, undergoing our own little renaissances. And that is a beautiful thing. The fact that we are always a work in progress means we always have the capacity to improve, learn and flourish. What typically prompts us to change are our experiences, whether we have a hand in bringing them about or not. Events that change our lives force us to adapt and evolve, leading to a change within ourselves.
But while this constant growth does benefit us, it can sometimes be exhausting. Living in such a fast paced world forces us to change due to outside forces, not because we have any desire or reason to change. Rarely do we get the chance to stand back and think about who we have become and who we want to be. Rarely do we control our own renaissance.
But away from the real world, in the timeless blue cabin, I do control my renaissance. I can grow on my own terms. I can read books, play instruments, explore nature. I can stop and think and just be, which sometimes is the most important form of growth. While life comes to a standstill on the edge of the lake, I can decide where to go from there.
Of course, not everything can truly stay the same. The zebra mussels are still as annoying as ever, but the leaky roof has long since been fixed and the bathroom has expanded. And I never truly escape reality. But for one week every summer, I find shelter. My blue heaven has watched me grow up and move through my own renaissance, but it has always stayed the same, granting me the space to evolve in the ways I need the most, comforted by safety and simplicity. My blue safe haven is where my renaissance is in my control.