Sitting in my favorite cane-backed rocking chair in front of the open screened window enjoying the view of the lake, I feel depressed. It has been a colder-than-normal winter and now it is a wetter-than-normal spring and I long to be outside.
Between the claps of thunder and torrential downpours, I venture out but find myself running back into the cabin. Midges and mosquitoes hatching in the stagnant waters throughout the woods and along the roadways, add to my somber mood.
Long pants, socks, a light-weight long-sleeved shirt and baseball cap will not deter their lust for blood. They are persistent in their attempts to burrow underneath my hairline to bite my scalp. Welts rise up and the systemic reaction swells my lymph nodes.
Welcome to summer in Wisconsin!
Friends moving here from Texas talk about the plight of those of us who call Wisconsin home. “You wait six months to get outside and then when you do, the bugs drive you back in!” I hear the voice inside my head say, maybe they’re right?
I am back sitting in my rocker feeling defeated and wondering how quickly we can retire to Arizona. There are dozens of mosquitoes on the screen swarming to reach me and I listen to the sound of their electrical static.
Rocking back and forth my mood shifts and now all I can see is the ebb and flow of the gentle waves of the lake outside the window. I hear the squawk of the blue jays, the phishing of the black-capped chickadees, and a startled frog Ker plunking in the water.
I watch the dissipating clouds cast their shadows on the water and the graceful bending of the tree branches in the breeze. I sit forward in my chair to look outside and take in a deep breath of the humid fresh air through the window.
This time when I look out the window, instead of mosquitoes, I see many shades of green lichen on the trunks of the trees and the fiddleheads’ attempting to unfurl.
This place – called Wisconsin’s Last Wilderness, has so much to offer. We can drive five hours north of the bustling city where we live and escape to our slice of heaven. Even though I itch from my bug bites and my loss this week comes in the form of blood, I love Wisconsin. And I love that nature’s soothing balm heals me with her views, her sounds and her creatures.
Don’t you think everything in life that is worth anything requires some blood, sweat and tears?