I am sitting in a wicker rocker on the back patio of our cabin, which really is a condo with two apartments inside. The kids have one and the grownup have one, with rooms for the boys and the girls and the grandparents and the baby and us. We are on the river that goes through Branson just a ways away, near enough the lake for a short drive when we want to go play.
I grew up in these woods, before Branson was a thing, and inherited the cabin from my mother when she passed. We sometimes do Branson things when we come, but we don’t come to be be busy or stuck in traffic. If we play, we do in the off season when tourists are back in their real lives and our retreat is reclaimed.
Always, though, play or rest, it feels like home to me. I need the woods, and the walks through their paths, and we need the slow mornings and the long evenings. We need the space of the hills to climb and run and breathe.
This is where we come to write, and to rest, and to let our children run free the way we did when we were little.
We come to sleep to the sound of of water rushing over the rapids, and to wake to woodpeckers and whooperwills.
It is rest to me.
We haven’t been here in a while because my brother and his family were using it while their house was repaired after flooding in Springfield, so it is good to be back, and we will go to church with his family today.
My mother is buried near here, so we will visit her as well.
But mostly we sit in big kid seats for breakfast:
And respite is the best.
And kids playing happily with deer and rabbits and squirrels and birds is the best.
And rocking on the porch for the sunrise is the best.