Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cottage Life - Tranquility Has Found Me

Day is done, gone the sun,
From the lake, from the hills, from the sky;
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.

Tranquility presents itself in many forms. For some it exists only in a setting of deafening silence. Others need a tactile experience. A sense of pampering - spa-like conditions.

For me, I experienced tranquility on the July long weekend while cottaging on the south shores of a large lake a short drive from Ottawa. We visited for just 7.5 hours, with an action packed agenda.

It started in high gear with a quick tour of the rustic cottage, bunkie, vegetable garden and the beautifully manicured acreage pushing out onto a topographically notable large point.

Then on to the first order of cottage business. With chairs in lakeside formation, we quaffed happy-hour drinks and nibbled salty snacks. For the indecisive, it meant two fisting their 'balanced diet'.

The collection of young people congregated nearby to engage in the cut-throat card game, 'President'. They incorporated well-timed, relaxing intermissions.

Fully refreshed, we scrolled the cottage road to do the land-side tour. The brother and sister of our host also have cottages just doors away. With all siblings propertied on the lake, so close together, it symbolizes a family bond of 'compound' status. We neighboured in, the gathering grew and the visiting continued dockside. More refreshments, salty snacks and good chats.

Dinner beckoned us as we wandered back to the point. The many hands of the hungry pitched in.

The cool breeze gently shouldered us as we dined just feet from the rocky shore with the last warm rays of the afternoon sun buoying downward.

There was a rapid gesture at cleanup.

As dusk settled in, we took the requisite party boat ride around the waters, now touring the neighbourhood lakeside. I was already dreaming of a strategically placed For Sale sign pounded in on the shoreline somewhere nearby.

With the sun tucked away for the evening, we took in a colourfully home-choreographed display of fireworks. Surgically executed, with a strong support team of testosterone. Me, I was safe behind the screened in porch, far from the munching of sparrow-sized mosquitoes.

Some huddled at the cozy pit fire, in the pitch black of the night sky that held a scattering of diamond glittering stars.

The closing of the day was celebrated with Strawberry and Lemon Curd Smartie cake, plus 4-Biter World Famous Butter Tarts. For some, seconds of both.

To the observer it would seem we were going at breakneck speed, considering our short stay. But I just floated on the ebb and flow of activities knitted together like poetry in motion. I found my place in conversation, behind the camera, prepping food, serving, cheering pyrotechnics.

I was somewhere I had never been before. For a brief period my troubles were pulled out onto the waves and hidden in the darkness of the night sky. I was surrounded by that family's cottage life, including their family extensions. It was inviting. It was safe. It was beautiful. And for just a short time, tranquility found me.

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