A Picture of Somewhere I've Been
This was a particularly difficult challenge for me. I guess I am not very place oriented. Well, at least not a specific place or trip or vacation. I do feel a certain kinship with places that are in nature. I wouldn't call myself an outdoor person but I like to be in fresh air and sometimes that means just sitting in the back yard with my evening coffee (of course not this time of year!)
I have a thinking spot I visit when the weather allows. It's a secret place so I won't reveal the location (and I don't have a picture of it) but more impressive than the look of the place is the feeling it evokes in me. It's mostly quiet but there is a railroad nearby that sometimes intrudes on my solitude. There is small body of water and lots of trees and various woodland creatures. My favorite time to be there is when the weather is just beginning to get frosty. The leaves are still colorful and although I like being in the presence of nature I tend to stay in my car. Inside it's toasty warm and I have the windows down just enough to get a whiff of that autumn breeze. I am sometimes brought to tears when I think of the beauty and simplicity of nature. That the Creator had the foresight to make all these earthy tones and breathtaking colors. It puts a little tingle in my soul. I feel giddy and very loved when I am in my thinking spot.
However, there is another place that brings out some of these same feelings in me. It's a place that I have never been alone. I have only ever been to this place with Mr. Bug. We started going to this place before there was a Mr. or Mrs. in our relationship. I have seen it in different seasons each with its own unique look. Winter is perhaps the harshest time of year in this place. But also what some might call the most beautiful. It's as though time is standing still. I love how the ice is frozen in motion. A little eerie but somehow it’s also quite beautiful.
Then there's this view when the grass is green, the trees have leaves and the wind blows the waves towards the shore's edge. Who knew the city once known for its burning river had such a beautiful green space? This is Edgewater Park and we visit it whenever we get to Cleveland. There are usually groups of kids and grown ups flying kites...wind permitting. I am not talking about the 99 cent kite at the drugstore...I'm talking about the coolest box kites and hi-tech wind catching devices I have ever seen.
This place holds lots of memories for me and Mr. Bug. Before the He-Bug and She-Bug arrived we used to be the jetsetters. Making it to the nearest big city for a weekend jaunt whenever the whim struck. We never left the continent and actually only left the country once...but just long enough to drive through the tunnel to Windsor, Ontatrio. We started visiting this park in the mid '90's and I'm ashamed to say I don't think I've been there in the last 5 years. I have three favorite memories of this place. Nothing spectacular...just special moments that have stuck with me for the last 15 or so years.
Our first trip to Edgewater we walked along the rocky edge and set up shop just a little ways down from a Spanish-speaking family. We rolled up our pant legs but we were too far up to reach the water. We basked in the sun, held hands and enjoyed listening to our neighbors. I'm not sure where they were from but they were all fishing. And they were having a ball. They had a little radio playing music, picnic sandwiches and bottles of pop and I swear every member of the family from Great Uncle Pedro to the tiniest brown-skinned baby was there. I remember thinking there was no place like this in Columbus (where we lived at the time).
Another time (when my legs still worked...mostly) we climbed up a craggy rock formation that was covered in a spindly kind of brush. There was really no where to sit and be comfortable. We had brought a blanket but neither of us remembered to bring it from the car and we were too exhausted from the trip up to venture back down and up again. Should've known then that we were destined for out-of-shapeness! This spot was particularly secluded and I was really ticked when I realized we weren't going to be able to enjoy this spot for a little romantic interlude like in the movies...you know what I mean. The couple on the blanket rolls around in the dirt or grass or other nature spot. They look like they are having the time of their ahem, adult lives and you're thinking that CANNOT be comfortable. Yeah, trust me it isn't. And it's even worse without the blanket!
My third memory is from a warm, but not hot summer day when the breeze was blowing but not too hard. We were a little early for a hotel reservation so we were killing time. We headed to Edgewater and pulled into a spot that was on a grassy bluff overlooking the beach. We were a little jetlagged from our trip and decided to catch a few winks while we had the time. We both reclined our seats and started to snooze. I was not fully sleeping...just enjoying the hazy feeling of relaxation when something tickled my nose. I opened my eyes and found a a yellow leaf sitting on my chest. It had floated in on the breeze. Mr. Bug must not have been sleeping either. He looked over at me and said that must be a sign, a symbol of something special. I looked down at the beach while twirling the leaf in my hands. That's when I saw it...a wedding. On the beach! I felt like a spy peaking into their private moment. I'm sure they couldn't see us and we wouldn't hear them but we knew what was going on just by the looks of things...and it was something special. I still have that leaf in a little acrylic box stashed away with my other keepsakes.
From time to time I have wished to live on the coast and well, Cleveland is as close as this Ohio girl will ever get. There's a cool art deco house that peaks over the trees behind the park. I always thought it would be so cool to have that house...to be able to watch the boats and waves, to enjoy the trees and greenery of summer...to be right there...living on the edge.
Photo Credits: 1) Cleveland Daily Photo Blog, 2/18/07, 2) By Htarbor at Panramio.com