For me, trees and water have always been a part of my soul. The mountains, although glorious with their regal peaks and lush valleys, made me feel something completely different – almost as if being in the mountains sparked one side of my brain while old oak trees with outstretched branches and warm, running water tapped into another part of my brain. Both places I consider home, but in different ways.
I spent my first week back in the midwest rediscovering some of my favorite places. The first, High Cliff State Park. This park is the first place I camped, the first area where I scaled abandoned quarry walls, and the first place I can remember getting lost staring at sunsets over this lake. Two of my closest friends got married here and my (girl) soul mate and I swam under the stars here. High Cliff and I go way back.
Next, a few pals and I walked around downtown. This is an area of town that is always changing, always buzzing. There are many small gift shops, bakeries, restaurants, bars, and even a record store. It’s an area that is the perfect size – it offers enough change so you don’t get bored but still host regular items so you know what to expect.
And I of course had to walk around a park along the Fox River. There is a magnificent dock at Lutz Park where families come to try their luck at catching Sunfish or Perch. There were also many baby birds waddling about and trying to keep up with their parents as they swam from island to island.
It’s a wonderful place to kick back and take in the sights and sounds of local wildlife.
Even though I wouldn’t change my childhood for anything, sometimes I feel like I don’t belong here anymore – I simply just grew up here. I’ll ask myself, “What am I doing?” and fear of the unknown sets in. But then I remind myself that life always has a funny way of making everything make sense eventually. No matter how dim things seem, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of the day, home is what I make it out to be. Maybe I haven’t discovered where my physical home is yet, but Wisconsin will always be my “Second Home,” no matter where I end up.