When do you feel at home?
Distant and peaceful, unscathed by technology, surrounded by countless pine trees and multiple lakes lies a small family run resort that is known as Pine Lake Manor to some but known as peace on earth to myself. The sheer beauty of the countryside of the Catskills to the mountains that disappear into clouds leaves me speechless every year on the car ride up with my parents and two brothers. I anxiously await until we arrive as I think about the fireworks that we will soon be seeing on the fourth of July.
At Pine Lake Manor my family, my grandparents, my aunts, uncles and cousins all sit at one big table for every meal; breakfast lunch and dinner. I have sat next to my Nana every year for the entire time I have been going to Pine Lake, all seventeen years. It’s my families tradition to go up for one week every year and its always the week of the 4th of July. Yes the fireworks are breathtaking and one of the most beautiful forms of art in my opinion but what truly leaves me happier than everything else at Pine Lake is spending time with Nana. After every meal every day for the week we go on a walk together around Pine Lake, simply admiring the beauty of nature together as she tells me a different story about her life. Two of my favorites include how she met my grandpa when he was in the Navy and how the only medal she ever won was in a race with only three people and she took home the third place medal.
Every week each year I spend at Pine Lake is a new adventure. I am constantly making new discoveries and uncovering all of the hidden treasures that the ever-calm Catskills offer. Every year at Pine Lake starts right where the last year ended. I am reunited with family whom I only get to see for this one-week every year. Being surrounded by family really makes me realize just how important family is in life. People come in go in life but family will always be there for you.
While realizing how important family, I find that this time also makes me realize how delicate family is. While overlooking a flock of birds flying by I think about how at any one moment someone so close to you can be gone forever. Overlooking the endless hills of Pine Lake and admiring the nature surrounded me makes me look at the big picture in life. The new iPhone or technology being released isn’t all there is to life. Being surrounded by those who you love is what brings me true happiness. Going on long walks through nature with my Nana is what brings me serenity and peace. Enjoying every moment of life because you never know when it’s your time or those close to you time to go. Watching a tiny ladybug land on and crawl on me makes me feel big but then looking out in every direction and seeing the endless trees makes me realize that I too am small in this world. When I go to Pine Lake I am truly humbled by nature and being around those closest to me makes me cherish every second I spend with them as well as make me feel truly to live with the privileges that I do. Like my Nana always says everyday, “It’s a great day to be alive.”