From Paradise to Sunrise
I had a free day last week so I thought I'd spend it getting reacquainted with central Minnesota along and near Highway 65. When I was thirty years old I'd actually biked an 80 mile stretch of it a couple of times to a rented a log cabin a few miles north of Mora. The cabin was on the verge of falling down, but was in a beautiful location. I didn't remember exactly where it was—things had changed just enough so that I couldn't find it, perhaps it had been torn down. I did take a walk around in the town, however. The movie house had gotten a new coat of paint, but otherwise not much had changed. I also stopped at a quite mad boutique a few miles outside of town (see previous post).
About twenty-five miles southeast of Mora is the township of Sunrise (birthplace of actor Richard Widmark). It adjoins Wild River State Park, a place popular with boaters and hikers in a quiet, low-key way. There are a couple of rivers winding through it which I thought I'd check it out for a possible future canoe trip. Along one edge of the park is a small pioneer cemetery nestled among the trees. I don't have any relatives buried in it, but a few months ago I discovered that one of my college friends had been interred there. Of course, I just had to stop.
It was a beautiful place, and was as peaceful as my friend's life had been turbulent. I hadn't helped it any either for our relationship was always stormy, mostly due to my cluelessness. Although in reality I was standing six feet away from what was left of her, she has always existed in a little corner of my heart where she still lives, young and alive; she was the brightest light of my darkest days. Regret is a fool's indulgence. As I stood there in the sunlight dappled pine duff, the whispering of the trees seemed to be speaking, speaking to me in her raspy voice: "It's alright now, everything is alright."