I’m heading back to the cottage for 2 months this week. As you read this, I am very likely on the way.
Growing up, my family spent most weekends, and summer holidays at the cottage where our focus was largely on the waterfront. Swimming, fishing, and water skiing occupied our time. But things have changed. I still enjoy the water. Who wouldn’t. But over the past decade, I have travelled there with a road bike, and began exploring the area by bike on roads I never knew existed. Quiet, paved, rural roads traversing the countryside beside lakes sprinkled with unpretentious cottages, newly discovered grasslands home to an extensive variety of wetland birds, and large, prosperous farms.
Yes, this is farm country nestled amongst numerous lakes.
When I head out the back door, I can choose from a variety of routes. Some longer than others. Some more difficult than others. Some by water. Some alongside farms. All are quiet. There is very little traffic. No traffic lights. Only the occasional stop sign. A few cars, and a tractor once in awhile. Mostly, it is just me, fresh country smells, spellbinding views, grazing cattle, and a few horses.
I enjoy the time alone. Actually, the more time I spend there, the more I realize how important it is to be alone. It’s therapeutic. Cathartic. Empowering. It’s an opportunity to get in touch with my thoughts, feelings, and priorities. When I am with others, no matter how much I may enjoy their company, there is always compromise, even on small matters. Like when to eat. Or, what to eat. What to do. Where to go. The list is endless. When I’m alone, my needs are simple. I cycle in the morning, eat a simple diet mostly of fresh vegetables and fruit, read a lot (there is no TV or internet), and work on the place.
There is always something to do.
When its time to return home, I’m always conflicted. I have heard it said that “home is where your heart is”. Gaius Plinius Secundus, a Roman philosopher first said this over 2,000 years ago. Imagine that. Well, my heart is at the cottage, and I never realized it until I began spending more time there alone.
The place is my refuge, personal get away, and salvation.