I missed posting for the last two weeks. Our family went on vacation together to the cottage for one week and my husband’s been on vacation for the last two weeks – routine, happily, gets tossed out the window. The cottage, being my sister-in-law’s cottage in the Muskoka area, is located south of Parry Sound. It is a gorgeous mixture of the Canadian Shield and pine trees, fresh air, water, lazy days and, this year, we even got to see a deer up close. We are fortunate enough to be invited every year to my sister-in-law’s cottage and it really is the only time the whole family comes together.
The trek is about 3 hours long. As you come into Muskoka and get closer to the Severn area, the rocks from the Canadian Shield rise up along each side of the highway. The huge boulders contain striping of lighter red and grey, and you will find many Inukshuks teetering along the rocky walls of the Shield. Almost resembling a little man, they make you wonder who got up on these high boulders to balance the combined rocks needed to make an Inukshuk. Did they stop along their journey on the highway? Did they climb up the rock from another area? Why did they feel the need to build this resemblance of a little man overlooking the many cars who travel by, keeping watch, keeping vigil?
Every year, as soon as we turn off the highway and start down the road to the cottage, which is a 20 minute drive alone, the air changes. You can feel the breeze, the lightness, the clarity of the air. You can actually breathe great big gulps of air into your lungs. We usually arrive in the afternoon as the sun is starting to make its way lower in the sky and so the light dapples between the multitude of trees: red pine, silver maple, white birch, oak, and balsam fir just to name a few. Of course, there is the water, gorgeous, serene, calm lake water.
Our dog, a year older now, is a natural swimmer. She absolutely loves the water. Anytime someone is down near the water, she will be there and she’ll swim for hours. It is as much a place of freedom to her as it is to us. No routines, no schedules – the whole day belongs to you.
Each year, before cottage time arrives, I think to myself that maybe I’ll just stay home this year. There is work involved in going up to the cottage. The car is always packed to the hilt, meals have to be planned and prepared, even small items like sugar for coffee has to be packed. Once I’m there, I’m so glad I came. There is just a peace that overwhelms you by the water. You come to realize how small in this world you are and each day that you are given should really be enjoyed. I know, I’m not trying to get religious or philosophical on you, but there is that feeling. So, then, every year I ask myself why I wouldn’t want to come and enjoy this?
Even though our kids are all in their twenties now, it is the one place that we are together. No work, no rushing in and out of the house with a “million things” to do. We are just here. That alone should be reason enough to come back every year. Maybe there will come a time where none of the kids can come up. Work and their future families may take over. I’ll be sad but I’ll still remember what this place has given us. A time to enjoy each other.
So, I’m back from vacation and ready to work again. It’s been a time to clear my head and refresh. Back to routine and all that goes with that. That’s okay, if I had what you see in these pictures everyday, I wouldn’t appreciate it and enjoy it quite so much. A change like this though really helps you to appreciate the life you have and the life you live everyday.