“Wandering silently, though the wilderness wood, far and away from the potholes of well beaten pathways. The soft breeze slowly rousing the shadows of the moonlit night, charily past the thorny stems of time.” – Harlon Rivers
Finding a lush forest in the middle of the city is like discovering a little gem in the middle of a haystack, full of wonders and mystique. For a city girl like me, the immobile concrete and wailing sound of sirens are what I’m accustomed to on a day-to-day basis. So when I decided to shed my metropolitan shell and drive up to Evanston’s Lighthouse Beach this past weekend (read here), I was as jubilant and excited as a little girl winning her first stuffed animal at a county fair–needless to say “bouncing off the walls” with joy. So while driving back from the beach, in awe of all the beautiful sceneries we’ve been bestowed with, I noticed an enchanted forest burrowed in the midst of a few suburban houses. So I halted my car by the side of the street and stepped out on the gravel, only to find myself steps away from this ethereal world none like what I’ve ever seen before.
The thriving greens, the pristine meadows, the balmy rose garden lightening up my sense buds…these little trinkets of nature led me through the thorny patches to this ivory tower. In its massive architectural form fully enwrapped in burgeoning leaves, the tower had a dual effect on me — it was haunting yet I felt so sublime in its presence; it was archaic yet I felt rejuvenated in its aura. For a sheer moment I felt comfortably “at home”, like this was where I was meant to be at that passing moment in time. The world was quiet, the branches swept against my legs were non-existent, and the bird chirping was harmoniously mellow.
Slowly I climbed to the top of the mansion and looked out into the far distance. There I saw the world in full motion again–sandy beaches, the glistening waves, families playing a round of beach volleyball. At that moment I realized how reclusive I was, that though the world in its organic form offered me happiness, serenity and peace, I didn’t have any loved ones up there on the eroding floor panels to share this special moment with. I smiled. I laughed. I took a deep breath. And I bid my adieu. Calmly I walked down the metal-ridden steps and made my way to the bottom. Feet firmly on the ground, I walked past the flowerbed and greeneries, turning one last time to paint that mental picture of perfection. It was an ideal image, one that’s so surreal and cathartic that I know going forward I can always resort to when life throws its chaotic curveballs at me.
I made my way to the vast openness where the sand touched my feet and I lingered a bit to embrace the excitement, laughs and giggles reverberated from a few hundred feet away. This was the real life–exhilarating, spontaneous, imperfect and fun! Not to mention with folks around you enjoying the same spell-binding view of the waters. Taking off my sandals, I ran to the border where the powdery sand caressed the restless waves. “This is where I’m meant to be”, I told myself, “and I don’t have to beat acrophobia to fully enjoy the moment!” I was happy. I felt free. Come what may tomorrow, but today I’m basking in the lakeshore’s “any way the wind blows” glory. Now where did I leave that sombrero? 🙂
Credits: Jason J Photography http://jasonjphotography.zenfolio.com