It’s Friday and I’m looking forward to a family weekend at the cottage, or “the camp” as it’s affectionately come to be known. I don’t know how many of you are blessed enough to have access to a family cottage, but the place I’m headed to has been a place many a generation has walked through. It’s a cute little place on a peninsula on Mulligan’s Bay just outside of Chapleau – lots of trees, gorgeous sunsets, a two person outhouse (you heard me), good fishing, lots of outdoor “toys” to play with a gazebo that overlooks the Bay and a cute little guest “cottage” (it’s a section of the garage made sleep camp. It has a bay on one side of it, and if you walk across to the other side of the property you’ll find the Chapleau River. This place has magic in the soil, and the sunsets are to die for. I don’t know what it is about this place, but it’s my little slice of heaven.
The memories that exist in this place are unreal, and underneath the table cloth you’ll find all sorts of pictures documenting the adventures had there. It hasn’t been updated in a some years as disposable have become a thing of the past- something I’m hoping to remedy). The camp has been a huge source of comfort for me this year, an escape from all of the things that kept piling up both in my personal and professional life. It’s played a huge part for me the ability to step back and examine things with a clearer mind, and also became the home to some of my favourite memories of the year. Some of my favourite poems that have come from my fingertips started as a morning cup of coffee watching the sunrise as I say on the deck or the dock. I know I’m not the only one who is overly sentimental about it. Talk to my family, they’ll tell you it’s the best place in the word. That poem I showed you back from grade six? It fits perfectly in terms of my own sentiments.
Thinking about how exited I am for this weekend led to contemplate how important it is not only to physically separate yourself from the things/people/places causing you stress but also why it’s so important to have a space that brings you nothing but comfort and joy (I sound like a Christmas carol). The stresses that we experience in our day to day lives may be easily brushed off as being trivial, but they add up overtime and left unchecked they can start to get the best of you. Depression, anxiety…. They happen a lot quicker and easier than you’re led to believe, and they’re not fun. These special places we have embody self care. For me, as long as I’m nature I’m happy. The cottage combines best of both worlds. There is something so incredibly powerful about space and the way we interact with it. An intricate combination of visual and perception can take a seemingly ordinary space and transform it into heaven, hell or somewhere in between.
Before I sign off and take the roads and host a two person concert with my brother as a way to pass the hours, I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite poems that came to be as a result of my little slice of heaven on Mulligan’s Bay, and a question. Where is your favourite place?
Have a great weekend!