Mackinac Island is one of my favorite places in Michigan and the island became more special once I learned that the all-time classical time-travel movie, Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour was filmed there. The island is magical in that no automobiles are allowed, except for the fire trucks. Transportation are bicycles or horse-drawn carts and wagons. In winter, the 500 or so residents travel by snow mobile.
My first summer visit to the island was with my first husband and our two daughters. We were typical fudgies, staying in the downtown area, taking in all the typical visitor sites, including the fort and a short hike up to the Grand Hotel. Then, visitors could go inside and look around, and even sit on the porch. Now visitors have to pay a fee for that privilege if they aren’t staying at the hotel.
I visited the island throughout the years, several times, and always with a friend. Often we would rent bicycles where we would travel around the island and follow all the inland trails.
The last time I visited, I fulfilled my bucket-list wish and stayed at the Grand Hotel. While I couldn’t say much about our view from our room (a back roof), the food was fantastic, with the luxury of sitting on the porch.
During our stay, my friend went in search of the labyrinth. I wanted to sit on the front lawn, where there is a lovely fountain and where the lawn was the location for the Somewhere in Time when the main characters, Richard and Elise, are reunited one last time, breaking the barrier of time. Several benches sat on the lawn, circling this fountain, and allowing me a view of the famous stairs, leading up to the hotel.
I had just sat down, fully enjoying the sounds of the birds and water splashing, when a young boy, about eight or ten, and his grandmother sat on a bench opposite of me. The grandmother appeared tired, probably looking for a break from this energetic, active child. He talked constantly to her and she would reply in monosyllables. Then, he started throwing rocks into the fountain and at the birds, becoming destructive and disregarding nature.
I didn’t want to leave, and I was feeling that they were intruding on the loveliness of the landscape. Minimally, the boy was intruding.
Not wanting to leave and wanting the quiet back, I began project thoughts to the boy: Grandma, I’m bored, I want to leave. This isn’t fun anymore. Let’s go.
I kept repeating those thoughts, projecting them toward the boy. Several minutes passed, and lo and behold, I heard the boy say, “Grandma, I’m bored. Let’s go somewhere else.”
Without another word, she rose from the bench, and they held hands as they moved on.
The quiet I had been seeking returned.