“Let’s go on an epic road trip revisiting our childhoods and be kids again,” we said to each other across the dinner table. When James had told me long ago how he would spend his summers on the lakes of Vermont with his grandmother, I knew he would get me. For more than a decade, my summers weren’t spent running around in the fields, biking down the dirt road and fishing in the pond at my great-grandparents house. This past year, unfortunately, we said a final goodbye to James’ grandmother who spent those hot summers by the lake with him and to my great-grandfather who taught me how to make flies for his fly fishing rods. Pieces of them live through us and since we didn’t get the pleasure to meet these significant individuals in each other’s lives, we felt the next best thing was to show a piece of their souls left in those summer places that we keep so close to our hearts.
As we packed up the car, closed the doors and turned the street, all of the memories came flooding back as we ventured through the wilderness. The childlike excitement that was smeared across our faces as we got to that certain place where you knew as a kid that you were almost there. This trip brought us a different element of vacation rather than you’re typical relaxing on a tropical island or thrill-seeking of exploring a foreign country. It’s those feelings you get where you just feel new and at complete peace. A place where you are rejuvenated by the atmosphere and the memories that with each step revisit and embrace you like an old friend.
Spending our summers in these places has helped create who we are inside. Being able to stand on my great-grandparents’ road and picked wildflowers with James as I did as a young girl was priceless. Looking out at the lake of his grandmothers’ house and watching him be at complete peace, is something I’ll always cherish.
As James continued to pick those wildflowers as I quietly stood on that road facing their house, smiling as I remembered how my great-grandmother would be standing on that porch waving, I knew he got it. He completely and wholeheartedly understood what this place and my family meant to me. It couldn’t be described in words or pictures, you had to be enclosed by its beauty and the feelings it creates.
As we pack up the car, close the doors and turn the street towards the journey home, we know that each other understands one another more. We each shared a piece of our hearts and souls that you had to see to understand. As we venture home I know we will always carry those memories of our childhood and every now and again we will just be kids picking wildflowers and jumping into the lake.