The Lake House, Part 2 | 31 Days of Growing Up

Click here to read an intro to my Write 31 Days series and part one of the following essay.

After busy days spent swimming in Lake Michigan, biking on the boardwalk, or driving into town to walk along the harbor, we would spread out in various rooms of the cottage and enjoy a relaxing evening together. It was often around this time, when the sun was a blur of red-orange in a pink sky, that we would sense the approaching storm. The air became still, leaves turned inside out, and the singsong voices of birds changed to nervous twitters. Ominous anticipation lured each of us from our board games or novels to the three season porch overlooking the lake. We looked out across the water; black clouds churned in the darkening sky as the last rays of sunlight disappeared below the horizon. In the quiet dusk, we listened for thunder and when, at last, it rumbled in the distance, we settled back in our wicker chairs to watch the storm advancing across the lake.

It was the same kind of thrill that other children experienced when riding a roller coaster or watching a horror movie; for us, however, the thrill was in not only feeling scared, but also feeling safe. Thunder reverberated and lightning flashed across the horizon, flickering vividly in wisps of clouds. The wind whipped through the leaves and blew sand across the wooden walkway leading to the stairs. Rain started to splatter on the roof and in a few seconds it had evolved into a deluge. Mist blew onto the porch and we sat motionless, hugging our moist knees. Thunder boomed; the cottage shook, window panes rattling. Lightning slashed and ripped at the black sky, while the waves pounded violently along the shore.

Then the thunder began to retreat; the rain faded into a steady shower; the wind became a cool, intermittent breeze; the lightning moved off across the horizon. From behind a grey cloud, the milky white moon timidly appeared. One by one, birds began to sing; a cricket chirped. Satisfied, we yawned and tiredly got up from our chairs. We filed towards the sliding glass door, but as I glanced one last time toward the lake, I stopped. Beside the walkway was a pale red wildflower. It glittered with the raindrops showering its petals and was nearly shrouded by beach grass, yet it stood tall. I stared at that flower for a long time: it somehow reminded me of my family. Though I knew there would be more rain flooding our minds and wind battering our hearts, I also realized that as long as we stood together we would stand tall through the storms of life. And as I turned to close the sliding glass door behind me, stars were glittering in the night sky and the hazy darkness of Lake Michigan was reflecting the soft light of the moon. 

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