Looking out at the snow today, I’m experiencing a bit of cabin fever—feeling cooped up in the house and also pining for the little lakeside cabin my husband and I rented the past several summers. Just looking at the photos from those summer vacations makes me feel better.
It’s not all in my head. Research shows that merely viewing natural scenes may have a positive effect on mood, easing anger and anxiety. This alteration in mood may cause physiological changes, such as lowering blood pressure, which may buffer the effects of stress.
Back to memories of summers past . . . A funny thing happened last summer, so I wrote about it. Here’s my story.
It’s our fifth annual summer vacation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. My husband and I are kayaking in our favorite spot: the Luce County wilderness on the Two Hearted River from the Reed and Green Bridge to Lake Superior. It’s a glorious day: sunny and 70.
Kayaking down the river, my husband occasionally lays his paddle across his kayak, allows his boat to float with the current, casts his line, and waits expectantly. Paddling and drifting for hours, he catches one good-sized trout and puts it on ice in a cooler.
Hungry, we stop for lunch. We land our kayaks on a sandy bank along a bend in the river. Wishing for at least one more trout for a decent fish dinner-for-two, my husband resumes casting as soon as he climbs out of his kayak, forgetting about lunch in his determination.
The trout breaks the water’s surface, leaping into the air. My husband reels in the line deftly, steering the fish away from the weeds and landing it safely on the sand. Success! He beams and bends to place the trout on ice beside the unfortunate other.
“The fish got sandy,” I say. “You should rinse it off in the river.” Holding the trout by its lower jaw, my husband bends over to wash the sand from its slippery skin. In a flash, the fish flips free, vanishing as if it never was. My husband and I look at each other. “No trout for you tonight,” he says.
Writing about it makes me feel better too.