It’s being a local

Out of my imagination. The racing feelings I can only have imagined, the picture-perfect formula I concocted, transforming into real life. Free of the constricting barbed wire cage, practically having a chokehold on each day and night. Released each evening by the burning ball of flames disappearing into the sky. 

Freedom is earned and once experienced, an emotion of none other. Embedded between each thread of white polyester on my skirt, it is elegant, and it is beautiful. Its words pouring out of my mouth on a blazing summer day, ice cream engulfing my hand in a sweet sticky layer. 

It’s internally giggling with the flash of cameras, capturing each tourist—lost, frantic without their beloved Google Maps. Maps lead the way towards cottages lining against the water, and ice cream stores carelessly sandwiched between the harsh rocky beach and murky black channel.

Coming too and fro, it’s my destination, it’s my home.

Knowing the gaping secrets of this small town in between deeply hidden coves, concealed underneath colossal rocks and stubborn trees. Puddles of sweet Lake Michigan, whisper through the rough seagrass of what is and what isn’t. And although these words configure into somewhat nonsentences, I find myself at a loss for cohesive words. All the gossip and rumors flooding into the drums of my ears—it’s exciting. 

Coming too and fro, it’s my destination, it’s my home. Laughable almost, watching the tourists stress and fret over restaurants and which street whose cottage turns left on each road jumbles of directions that don’t even translate to English.

Yet I smile and resort back to the freshwater I know. The sunsets that since childhood I have held near and dear to my heart, and while my peers flock over places and piers not far away, I don’t care. The thought of never returning overwhelms my insides, in distress of losing my grip on these cottages, the pirate ship, and each small business I pour my money into. 

Some day, I’ll be older. Christmas won’t mean lengthy treks across frozen sand and sharp rocks. Searching for beach glass won’t take place with my grandmother, and instead will be done alone. Fourth of July will no longer mimic the idea of a family corn hole, and people watching as other odd humans explode fireworks off their sailboats. 

This town holds my summers. Glee and praise, I enjoy each and every moment in this special place. Near and dear to my heart it was brought forth by my grandparents and will be passed down. The ins and outs of this magical place kept within our family, this town, these feelings, the sunsets, and freedoms pushed out by summer—they are mine.