Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Memory from Mueller's Lake

Will I ever see another shooting star?  I follow NASA on Facebook and they always announce the meteor showers.  NASA tells you the dates, the times, where in the country they are best viewed.  I have, in the past, put those dates on my calendar only to notice them a few days after the meteors have landed.  Now I have alerts sent to my email on the days that yield those elusive fallen stars.  I am always disappointed by cloud cover or the fact that our area produces too much light to ever see a star.  Or worse yet, my sightings are hampered by the fact that I can’t stay awake to see them.

But I will never forget that magical night back in the late 60’s when a group of kids from Polar, Wisconsin took me to the top of the hill that overhangs Mueller’s lake. The night was warm and clear so I would guess that the month was July or August, because as any of you know, who are familiar with northern Wisconsin, June nights are not usually warm. I am also guessing that it was the end of summer because there was a certain camaraderie that had developed.  Every summer when I would head up north I would start all over.   I spent a lot of time up there that summer.  I found it all so romantic compared to the routine of my Chicago life.
Summer would begin with a visit to Laurie who lived in one of those “don’t  blink or you’ll miss it” Wisconsin towns.  She was the older sister of the boy who stole my heart the first summer I was visiting.  I was such a dreamer and romantic.  He gave me my first kiss.   Ahhh.. so long ago. The winter would cool all summer affections but in that moment love would last forever. Enough with the loves as my sons used to say when I would get mushy. On each first day up north I would trek to Elton and Laurie would pour me a cup of coffee (I hated coffee but it seemed so grown up) and tell me everything I missed during the winter months, who was going steady, who had broken up, and everything in between.  I loved visiting with Laurie.

That  one amazing night in particular sticks out so much in my memory because of the sight of a falling star raining down over the concession stand at that little beach.  I don’t remember who exactly I was with, Carol, Sam, Tom,  maybe others whose names I don’t recall. Who I was with eludes me.  But that indigo sky painted with that single streak of light is imprinted on my mind like a tintype photograph.  I remember asking “what is that…that streak of light”.  And someone laughed "it’s a shooting star, haven’t you ever seen a shooting star before?"  I hadn’t and I haven’t really seen a vivid one since then.

Some people have trips to exotic places on their bucket list.  I have a few of those, but the things  I really want to experience before I die are those gifts that nature sent, that are elusive but well within my reach, I want to visit Yosemite falls, view an aurora borealis and most of all experience showers of lights from the heavens.  I am ready to have my breath taken away from me once more.