Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Up North at the cabin, verse three October 4, 2021

Horseshoe Lake in the central Minnesota lakes region in mid-September. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

I NEVER EXPECTED to be one of those Minnesotans who would, each summer, go Up North to the cabin. But, thanks to the generosity of in-laws with lake property including a guest cabin, that is now part of my experience.

Looking up into the towering pines which populate this region of Minnesota. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

Thrice since May, Randy and I have headed Up North to the cabin, most recently in mid-September. Each visit leaves me feeling at peace. Relaxed. Content. Refreshed. Thankful for this place of solitude and natural northwoods beauty.

The view through the pines as the sun edges down. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

As soon as the van swings onto the jackpine-edged drive leading to the cabin, I feel like I’m entering another world. Those slim, tightly-packed evergreens set the scene, defining for me the essence of Up North. I especially delight in walking the lane at sunset, golden light filtering through the stand of pines.

Gently lapping water pushes aquatic plants onto the beach. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

And then there’s the lake. Horseshoe Lake. Water mesmerizes me. The stillness. Or the lap of gentle waves against shoreline.

The warm September days proved ideal for relaxing on the beach. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

While I don’t like being on water and will only enter to shoulder depth, I like being near water. Lounging on the beach, the sun heating the sand and warming my skin. Book in hand. Beverage nearby.

Sky and water merge… Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

It’s as if time ceases here. Here, where the sky and the water meet and loons cry and an eagle traces the shoreline.

I love collecting shells, although this trip I didn’t gather any. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

Here, where only months earlier I gathered shells with my 5-year-old granddaughter and waded into the lake and lay on a hammock with my two grandchildren cozied beside me.

The dock was already removed from the lake, but a child’s slide remained. Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo September 2021.

This lake place holds memories now of half-moons and pink skies and star-filled darkness. Of campfires and s’mores. Of little feet pounding the dock and sandy toes. Of waking up to a sunrise that writes poetry across the water, into the day, into Up North at the cabin.

TELL ME: Do you have cabin memories? I’d like to hear.

© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

12 Responses to “Up North at the cabin, verse three”

  1. Jillian Says:

    Beautiful pictures!!

  2. ONE WORD that I was thinking first thing this morning – ESCAPE 🙂 I remember those days growing up and even into my 20’s at times of doing nothing, having a lazy day, etc. I have been trying to find more of those lately because it is a GREAT way to reset, refresh, recharge . . . re anything. Happy Day – Enjoy!

  3. Susan Ready Says:

    Nice work capturing the essence of up north lake life. We are fortunate to have this experience on a daily basis and good to read your thoughts as a reminder for us not to take our life for granted.

  4. Looks like a wonderful time, Audrey. Makes me long for the woods! ❤

  5. Growing up in North Country I totally understand the peace people find when nesting in the woods and along the lakes. 🤫 don’t tell people or it will be exploited.😂🤣

    • Oh, I think folks are already discovering the wonders of Minnesota. I recently read an article about Duluth becoming a favored relocation city for those concerned about climate change. The story highlighted several individuals who recently moved there from California due to wildfires, flooding, the high cost of living in CA and more.


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