If only I could bottle this up

Saturday morning, I woke to the sound of Beth’s voice out in the kitchen. She had come to bring us all of their leftover food (our fridge is full now!) and to say goodbye. I will miss our “sister time” together.

A haze has settled on the lake due to a forest fire in Canada. We had a similar haze a few years ago for the same reason. Even with the haziness, it was a beautiful morning; a pleasant 72 degrees with no wind. Tom had already left for his “long ride” of the week, so I decided I would take a ride too. As I cruised around the 17-mile Migizi trail (loop around Pike Bay), these words came to mind:

If only I could bottle this up. 

Heart pumping, blood surging, nerves firing, muscles igniting, senses tuning. Birds chirping, breeze cooling, flowers blooming, trees shading, sun beaming, lake glistening. Music playing, spirit lifting, prayers ascending, praise unending.

If only I could bottle this up.

I’d fill every empty bottle I could find and take it home with me. I’d open it on a winter day. A gray day. A stressed out day. A sad day. I’d drink its contents sip by sip. Some days might even call for chugging. 

If only I could bottle this up.

I wouldn’t give it away, but would tell my friends to make their own. I’d even share the recipe.

  1. Take one physical activity. Suggestions: Walk, hike, kayak, bike.

  2. Add uplifting music of choice. Suggestions: Spotify playlist “Music for Concentration,” “Peaceful Piano,” anything by Paul Cardall.

  3. Place all in natural setting. Suggestions: lakeside, mountain, pine forest, ocean shore, bike trail.

  4. Mix all together until your heart soars.

Now, if only I could bottle this up. 

Until then, I’ll guzzle all I can.  

My ride was invigorating. When I got home I quickly washed up and changed so I could meet Tom for lunch in Bemidji before getting a few more needed groceries. He was about 2/3 finished with his 75-mile ride when I found him downtown. We ate lunch at Bar 209 and loved it! We had eaten there 2 years ago with Beth, Bill and Phyllis, and it wasn’t much more than a hole in the wall. But the place has expanded and been totally remodeled. The food was great (burgers, sandwiches, mac & cheese…I had walleye tacos, yum!) and the atmosphere lively and interesting.  


Once we were all home again, we went out for our first fishing excursion on the pontoon boat with Mom and Dad. Having never fished from a pontoon before, it will definitely take some getting used to. And since we can’t fit under the bridge to get to Pike Bay, it may take us a while to find fish in the big lake. On our first attempt we were only able to find small perch; we kept two.

Between hooks caught on the bottom of the boat, tangled lines, and a challenging disembarkment for Dad, the ending to our lovely night on the lake was a little upsetting. We’ll just have to forget all that and remember the closeup visit from the regal eagle and the lovely sunset we witnessed on our way in!

Cass Lake with smoky haze.

Cass Lake with smoky haze.

Linda HanstraComment