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She had been out of high school for nearly a year, and still had yet to decide on what to do with the rest of her life. So far only college laid in her near future. Her parents had asked for an official answer about her college plans after she returned from the cabin, where she had been secluded for the long weekend. She had agreed. Yet she still didn’t know what her plans would be yet. For now she just preferred not to think about anything except enjoying the cabin.

Her grandfather, Joseph Martin, had left the cabin to her in his will. She had grown close to her grandfather in the years spent with him in Courtenay. Her grandmother, Florence, had died two years after she had arrived in Courtenay and her grandfather had greatly appreciated her company, taking their time spent together to teach her everything about nature and the island. Before he died, on her last visit to see him, Tyler had confessed to him all her feelings of restlessness. At some point into her confessions, on one of those hiking trips they’d always take, she had mentioned that she wanted to get her own place. She had no idea he had taken her seriously, but when his will was read, she was surprised, in the midst of her grief, that he had decided to leave the little cabin in her name.

It was an old cabin that had seen better days, but Tyler had grown to love the cabin in the few months she had it. Its walls of quiet solitude reminded her of her grandfather’s steady presence in her life. The cabin also had an unmistakable view of freedom, in which she could indulge her mind and emotions dreamily. Behind it, an estuary led to an inlet that led toward the Pacific Ocean, and in front of it, a view of the town of Winter Haven, its homes, logging roads and harbor.

She had woken up early every morning since she had been at the cabin to acquaint herself with the woodland that had come alive under the auspice of the spring season. Sometimes she sat to listen to and watch vehicles, mostly trucks, move by on the main road; other times, she just waited for the sunrise, distant and timid to reach its peak over the harbor.

This morning she had been throwing rocks toward the narrow logging road carved through the trees. She could feel the chill of spring under her sweater. Now her teeth rattled and she was shivering, as the breath seeped from her mouth turned to frost and her arms grew goose bumps. But she didn’t care. She liked being in the woods, especially during the change of season. The last of the snow had melted from the trees, leaving them bare and scrawny. The chirps of small birds and insects were returning to the misty woodland. The winter was over, but as was always the case, it was still quite cold, especially on the hill. The beauty of the sun creeping out from behind the horizon was captivating. She smiled when it finally crept to the top of the horizon, brightening the morning.

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