An Island Unto Yourself

This year, my summer kicked off with a Memorial Day trip to the extended family’s cabin, where I enjoyed my first brat of the season, shared stories around a roaring campfire, and had my butt kicked mountain biking with an aunt nearly 20 years my senior. During unscheduled downtime, the most coveted spot at the cabin was the floating raft a few yards off the end of the dock—particularly for my husband’s college-student cousin, who was readjusting to life under his parents’ (second) roof.

The “island” was accessible by a chilly swim—the lake temperature was, to my gauge, on par with glacier runoff—but its isolation was supreme. One could soak up a summer’s worth of solar radiation, tempered by a cool, light breeze. A chorus of birds sang, backed by a woodpecker’s percussion. Even the metallic buzz of a passing motorboat sounded downright soothing.

Out on the island, there was no way to fold laundry, or start dinner, or dig out from the never-ending avalanche of email. The isolation was as much mental as physical, and the warming rays and lapping waves were so relaxing that I forgot about every one of my concerns, including that I hadn’t yet come up with a topic for my next editor’s note.

I hope that you’ve carved out a little time during this fast-fleeting summer to enjoy the season’s meditative bliss. If you’re still looking for vacation ideas, we have several in our Island Getaways feature. And if you, like me, think reading a magazine is a perfect way to unwind, be sure to bring this issue along so you’ll have something to do between your next cold beverage and the inevitable nap.