My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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cottage bliss

I’m in paradise – sitting on a deck in the
sun on an island in the Muskokas. When my friend, neighbour and student Ruth
read about our unfortunate cottage experience of a few weeks ago, she wrote to
invite me to her family cottage for a few days. I’ve heard about her country place for years – Ruth is in my home class and a wonderful writer – and this time, my
time was clear and on Sunday morning, I got on the bus to Gravenhurst.
It’s now 8.30 a.m. Monday morning. I am
surrounded by water and trees and rock and silence, complete silence. Though it
can get noisy here too – the woodpecker’s call and hammering, the whirr of the
hummingbird, and last night those noisy party-goers, five loons, dancing and
singing in a splashing group just beyond our bit of rock. Thrilling, beautiful
and so Canadian, I wanted to put my hand on my heart, as the Americans do at
patriotic moments. But I did not, because I am Canadian.
The thing is that this cottage is isolated
and incredibly quiet, accessible only by boat and on a big island with only one other family way on the other side, and yet full of creature comforts – fast wifi, for a start, how does
the internet reach here?! Big comfortable sofas, bookshelves full of good books,
magazines and newspapers, good coffee and great food, big comfortable beds –
how well I slept last night, with a sweet wind flooding through the huge windows.
I am a happy camper.
Only here till tomorrow, but today we are
going to swim in the delicious lake, as we did yesterday, and kayak which
believe it or not I’ve never done – yes, Canadian, never kayaked. But then, as
perhaps I’ve mentioned, I’m not a cottage person. If I’d had a sublime retreat
like this in my life, however, things would have been different.

Many many thanks to Ruth and Eric, who are
not only perfect hosts, but very funny, and who have shown me why people do
this. I’ve always wondered why people make such a point of fleeing the
fascinating city. This morning, I thought, perhaps Canada is such a peaceful
nation because so many of us have cottages. Regularly, we just sit and stare at
water and breathe in pine. Very good for the soul. 



P.S. I do have to add that one reason it’s so tranquil is because there are no small children here. No rushing after a one year old who’s about to hurtle off the dock, or a 4 year old who is throwing toys into the lake to see if they’ll sink. Just nice calm adults. I feel guilty saying so, I adore my grandchildren, but there are times it’s nice they’re with their parents.  

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2 Responses to “cottage bliss”

  1. theresa says:

    Looks like heaven!

  2. beth says:

    It is, Theresa – but you live like this every day.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.

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