An Open Letter To My Happy Place To Which I Can't Return

An Open Letter To My Happy Place To Which I Can't Return

I will always miss you and the memories you hold within your waters.

Dear Happy Place,

I miss you. I truly, truly do. From the excitement of packing to come to you, the drive back home, to every second in between. You're more than just a lakehouse to me. You hold within you loads and loads of memories and moments that I wouldn't change for the world. However, even though I have found happiness and peace in you, you are connected to the ultimate source of my unhappiness, my father. With the choice that I made over a year ago to discontinue seeing him, I have lost my ability to see you as well.

Of course I stand by my decision to no longer see him. He was abusive in multiple forms and I can tell that I am a better person when I am not around him. But, it is easy to say that the consequences of this choice are hard to live with. An entire side of my family has been placed on the other side of a wall. People that I care about are now separated simply due to complex connections. This also goes for my dog, friends connected to that side of the family, and you.

You are owned by his friends, making it practically impossible to ever see you again. But we've had our good times, quite countless, actually. I'll miss those weekends where I am enwrapped in you. Embrace you by Friday, dance with you through Saturday, and hesitantly depart on Sunday. Staring out onto your shimmering waters, feeling the wind hit my face as I speed down the lake in their boat, clinging for dear life on a tube, performing tricks on the diving board and neighbor's dock, using stale bread to catch fish, watching the marvelous firework show, and enjoying all the little things.

The games, the laughs, the memories, I only wish they would have lasted a little longer. It is truly unfortunate that I was forced to give you up when I gave up that part of my life. And I hope you can understand that. Perhaps I will return. Not in the same way as before, but maybe by coincidence. I believe if it is meant to be, I will see you again. Also, if I am lucky enough, I would give my children the same experience of getting to know you.

To have a house on the lake is not only having a lake house. It enables you to experience nature in a way like no other. A chance to feel like you're flying, even though you're simply riding at the front of a boat. Or maybe just a chance to play and feel like a kid again. If anyone would have the chance to come to you, they need to take it. You are a blessing, you always have been. While I struggled with my Father, you gave me a trip to look forward to, and a comforting environment to get lost in when only negative thoughts raced through my mind. You will always hold a special place in my heart, thoughts, and mind.



Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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You Need To Watch The Planet Earth Series...Seriously, Go Watch It Now

Can six episodes really make that big of an impact on somebody?

Around a week or two ago, a friend of mine introduced me to one of the BBC’s gems, “Planet Earth II.” Based around the older “Planet Earth”, the mini-series focuses on six different habitats in the world where plants, animals, and relationships flourish.

Now I’ll admit, I was hesitant.

Growing up I wasn’t always a great science student and found environmental issues to be something I, personally, couldn’t do a lot about.

But I gave in and gave it a view and I’ll tell you, it was eye-opening to say the least. The visuals and high definition of this 4K-produced show are enough to make you think you just bought the newest television at Target – you know exactly which one I’m talking about.

Aside from the stunning quality of footage, the show keeps the audience so engaged in what they’re documenting that you feel guilty looking away. The playful relationships of monkeys in the jungles, the incredibly crafty nature of birds living in the desert, and the maternal instincts of island penguins are enough to get any animal lover completely addicted.

After finishing “Planet Earth II,” the same friend told me to watch “Blue Planet II” – a similar sequel to the original’s sister show, “Blue Planet.” This series particularly comments on the effects of pollution on ocean life and consistently begs of humanity to help reduce this effect.

The “Planet Earth” series is a meaningful, enlightening, thought-provoking message wrapped in animals and plants that we either don’t know well enough or know at all.

These six, one-hour episodes, serve as an efficient and immediate way to view into a life completely unknown to us humans. They beg the question, who are we as humans, and what can we do to help?

If you feel at all passionate about the state of the world, animals, or nature in general, I highly encourage you to watch this series. You’ll find it awe-inspiring and self-initiating to say the least.

This is the power and beauty of our planet, Earth.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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In The Company Of Wolves Part 1

The fate of the village is in her hands, if only she cared.

Frozen. Everything was frozen, not just the land but the village, the people. Frozen in time, in fear, a perpetual winter. It had been this way since before the girl was born. Long before her parents died and she was brought to this place. Before the Chief’s spoiled daughter named her Yliren, “girl”, and told the village children that she was raised by wolves.

The stories of their people were told by the elders around ritual fires on their sacred nights. Yliren would sit behind them, just out of the light, in the shadows of the homes and listen. She knew them by heart now. How they were nomadic people first, moving from place to place, hunting, farming, prospering. Then they would receive a sign from the gods, and travel to the next place the gods deemed worthy. They were a great clan, living, learning, adapting to each new place. Until they came here, and it found them.

The people were adjusting to the cold, frosty terrain. Learning how to farm the hardened ground, studying the animals. They were making this place their home, then the Knawl came. Some believed it to be an evil, magical creature, others thought it to be a demon. No one who had seen it lived to tell of its appearance, but everyone knew the sound. It blasted the defining howl through the air just before it killed. Something like a roar and a wail released simultaneously. When she heard it, Yliren could feel the chill in her marrow.

It normally came every two months on the night of a dark moon, when it could slink through the blackness, and take a victim. Sometimes it was two if the villagers got brave and tried to escape or fight. They tried to leave, many times, but they only moved in circles, always ending up where they began. Then the Knawl would take a second victim, punishment for attempting to escape. It always left the body behind, a gnarled, bloody heap.

What was left of their face was twisted, contorted in the pain they experienced in their last moments. For years, the elders prayed, worshiped, performed rituals, but their gods were nowhere to be found. Forsaken, they settled into this cold, motionless existence, waiting for something, anything that could release them from this torture.

Many had tried to defeat the Knawl. Their best warriors had set out to hunt the beast, and they were never seen again. Each generation had the stories of the brave men and women who attempted to kill the Knawl. This time they were four young men and two young women with whom Yliren had grown up with.

This would not have bothered her, for she hadn’t formed any connections with the children she had trained with, save for one. A boy, Kymn, who had befriended her when the others had teased and bullied her relentlessly. He refused to hide their friendship.

"What you think does not matter," Kymn explained to them.

No one messed with him about it after that. He was brave and caring, and when the others decided to go after the beast, he could not allow them to go without him. Even when she begged him not to.

He simply replied, “If it were you going, I would do the same thing. I cannot let them go alone when I can stand beside them.”

Yliren had been angry. She’d yelled, called him names, told him he would be useless against the Knawl. He shrugged off the words as if she hadn’t insulted him and declared he would miss her. Then he disappeared into the wind-blown snow.

That had been two weeks ago. Yliren knew because she had counted the days without Kymn. She had appealed to the village Chief, these were their young men and women, the future of the clan, they already lost a villager so frequently. She was unsuccessful. Yliren knew she would be, but she also knew she had to try. If the Chief would not attempt to find them, she would do so herself. Kymn would do no less for her.

So, in the dead of night with her bow and arrows, she stole away from the home of the widow who kept her. She took a dagger and staff from the village armory and started east in the direction the Knawl was believed to reside. Firelight stopped her at the edge of town. The Chief's daughter, Neyl, stood torch in hand. The beautiful raven-haired girl, the Chief heir, gave her a look of disgust.

“I knew you were going to go.” She smirked, “You’re so foolish. He’s dead. You’re going to die too.”

“Then at least you won’t have to look at me anymore.” Yliren juggled her pack on shoulders and stood tall. Neyl would not get in her way.

“Oh, I have prayed to the gods every day that you would go back to the animals you belong with. I’m just amused that you think you can rescue dead men. You always were stupid.” Neyl sneered.

Yliren never knew why Neyl hated her so much. It never really mattered to her, and it still didn’t, Yliren wasn’t curious enough about the woman to wonder what made her hate. The names, the bullying, she never gave it a second thought. Sometimes, Yliren felt there was something wrong with her as Neyl claimed. She just didn’t experience those emotions. She was numb to most of the villagers and their oppinions or comments.

“Why would you risk your life for him? Neyl asked.

Yliren sighed. It was a prospect that Neyl would never understand, but she would explain it anyways, “It’s loyalty. Those with power and position can buy it, but for the rest of us, true loyalty is more important than anything. If it were me out there, he would do the same. I won’t give up on him.”

“Do you love him that much?”

The question caught Yliren by surprise. Did she? Or was that another emotion she didn't have? “I don’t know what love is, Neyl. But if I did, I suspect it would be him. Now get out of my way.”

She pushed forward, passing Neyl without a second thought.

“I’m telling you he’s dead. You’ll be dead too!” Neyl yelled at her.

“All the better for you, since there is no point in living here without him.” She called over her shoulder as she continued into the darkness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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