Sitting on a bench in East Park, between Petoskey and Bay Harbor, one takes advantage of a very special view: Bay Harbor to the West, Petoskey to the East, and directly across the bay to the North, rests Harbor Springs.
The vista is spectacular and unobstructed aside from one’s possible disbelieving eyes. There’s never a moment when a visitor to this park isn’t snapping a picture, biking through on the Charlevoix to Mackinaw Wheelway, or simply resting and relaxing as the soft Lake Michigan westerlies caress the grasses rimming the bluff.
Today, a sailboat tacks over the teal blue bay in search of nothing other than the serenity of the momentary breeze, while white puffs of clouds carouse with each other until disappearing over the horizon.
At the noon hour, various cars, pick-ups, and work trucks gather with locals exiting and carrying sandwiches, and whatever else provides sustenance for the remainder of the day. East Park is unabashedly the best-maintained cafeteria for the senses.
If one can’t find solace here, it would be a sour miracle. Being a part of the surrounding communities is special enough, but to enhance the opportunity by enjoying open spaces such as East Park, one can create a greater escape from the mundane.
For a more playful adventure, there is a full playground for the young – and the young at heart – as well as a beach area for spying Petoskey stones or the many gems one can imagine sitting on desks or coffee tables. After all, even a scarred piece of driftwood finds health and security as an object of art and a remembrance of a meander along the shoreline.
Come and enjoy. Don’t forget a blanket, sunglasses, and a good summer read. Leave the cell phone behind, but perhaps bring an alarm clock. You might find yourself worrying, or wishing, you may become another Rip Van Winkle.