For the last several years, we have been fortunate to have the opportunity to rent a friend’s cottage during the winter months while she is away. It’s a cozy little spot, only about 90 minutes drive from home. In the summer, the lake is packed. Nice, but in the fall, winter, and spring there are only a handful of people. That’s when the magic really happens.
For a number of reasons, this will likely be a very short cottage season for us. But I have just arrived, and as always, I feel so very grateful to be here. The cottage has always been a very powerful draw for me. My wife and son enjoy it as well, but not the way I do. I am thrilled to come up here for a week or two at a time when I can, on my own. Perhaps too thrilled.
I think this is the 5th or 6th season for us, but it is only just starting dawn on me why I love it here. My time is my own. I can spend it however I wish. I am not responsible, or feel responsible for anyone else. I cook nutritious meals, and enjoy doing it. I read for hours on end. I write. I think. I listen to music. I sing. I meditate, sometimes twice a day! Back to basics at the cottage. I am able to just be.
At home, I am distracted by the endless list of things that have to get done, that I am responsible for, and I sometimes neglect myself. And it can make me resentful. There I said it.
At the cottage, I can just take care of myself, heal, rejuvenate. Peace, quiet, free of static and distraction. Life moves at a much slower and richer pace here.
Ironic isn’t it that I have saved and planned and sacrificed to create a home, yet I need to get away from it to get centred and in touch with my flow?
I suppose I have always appreciated my time alone, ever since I can remember. Always a bit of a loner. Always somewhat of an introvert, although many aspects of my life might indicate otherwise. Some people need others to recharge. Not me. I am someone who needs to turn inward. And I need the separation and quiet to do it.
I am not complaining. I have a very good life, and I’m surrounded by incredible and loving people. I am very, very fortunate. But time alone at the cottage gives me the space and perspective to truly appreciate it (and I know that this is a troubling paradox…save this one for another day).
But I also realize that ultimately I must learn to find this stillness wherever I am. That will take some work.