My nose is cold, and when I breathe it all in, I sniffle a little, but it is the most refreshing air… this north country cottage air.
It clears the head, and as I welcome the crisp fresh air into my lungs, I am grateful.. to be here.. once again… at a place where time seems to stay away, and clocks are forgotten, but the scent of pine and spruce are all that consumes the senses.
I walked down the creaking, worn steps on my first visit this Spring to my destination… the dock…with my steaming cup of coffee in hand, cozy lambs’ wool filled slippers on my feet, and plush velour robe surrounding me, and I take it all in deep… it is so peaceful here.
The lake is calm, and I feel the incredible urge to step out on it, like Pete from the Bible… Could I walk on it, if I had enough faith.. then maybe.. just maybe, I wouldn’t fall in…I could step confidently forward knowing that God has me no matter what….but.. turns out I’m a chicken, and really don’t want to fall in.. especially because the ice came off the lake not that long ago…and just one hand held in the cold depths makes it ache almost instantly… it’s too early to go in…
The sound of an outboard motor boat coming by breaks the silence, and I smile.. such a distinctive noise.. I’ve been privileged to hear it every summer for much of my life.. that is such a wonderful whirring echo to me, even the smell of boat fuel gets my senses tingling… I know I’m a weirdo..
The dock is slightly damp, and the colors from the old weathered wood are a palette of greys, light and dark.. it’s a grey scale of incredible hues and values..It feels rough to the touch, when I take my toes out of my blue leather moccasin slippers.
This wood tells a story, of bare feet, tennis shoes, flip flops, and fins crossing over it, and probably some work boots too. There have probably never been high heels over these parts, because it would be a treachorous path for stillettos… that’s for sure.. If I were to attempt such a trek, I would most certainly end up crashing head over tail in the lake… as I’ve often been told “ Grace is not any part of my name!”
But what about grace?.. How much do I feel this here in this place?.. Do I hand it out freely to those that I encounter in my path, or do I withold it, as if it had not been poured freely out all over me?
I don’t have the right to withold this grace. It has been freely given to me, and so.. I , in turn must freely give it out there.. This is a soul searching thought, and a convicting one.
There are many memories here… and my brain churns them over and over, like a blender full of a fruit smoothie. There are chunky bits that are more difficult to swallow, and this incessant lump in my throat is bothersome. I do just want smooth sailing… and it seems attainable right now as the lake is smooth as silk.
Like a beautiful white sailboat, with a billowing and bold sail raised to the wind, proud and sure, all it takes is a quick change of wind to come up, out of nowhere to overturn the boat…and circumstances in the boat turn from calm to storm.
There is a ramp outside our front porch, which I don’t imagine is there for all cottages. This ramp has carried four wheelchairs at least, as far as I know…
There was my Papa, Arnley Denzin.. then came my Dad, John Hayhoe, then my daughter Bianca Brandon, then a friend’s dear daughter, Sloan Passer…
Perhaps there were more precious ones who were confined to these seats.. It pains me to remember them in this way, and I try to wrap my head around how this felt for all of them..I am gratified that they are free of these chairs with wheels today, and I picture them walking, and swimming in a heavenly lake that is the perfect temperature of warmth….ultimate freedom..
The lake water laps up under my feet, from the dock.. It echoes off the solid Canadian rock beneath it. It’s the most welcoming of sounds. I used to love to lay out a well laundered terrycloth towel directly on the wood, and close my eyes, just aware that beneath me the sounds of lake water coming into shore, would lull me gently into a nap, as the hot sun tanned my back and legs. The smell of Coppertome sun lotion, and scent of the wild was an intoxicating combination.
The food tastes better here, even just scrambled eggs, or last years’ box of Mac and cheese with its glowing yellow synthetic cheese sprinkles.. absolutely delicious!
I’ve been reading my son’s novel in the making, and I’m filled with wonder at his story telling ability. We all have such incredible stories within, and putting it all down on paper, is so rewarding. Reading about peoples’ escapades, whether a fictional or nonfictional tale takes you to a place where you can place yourself in “ somebody elses’s shoes,” and you can take a seat somewhere outside yourself… a vacation of sorts from your own path…
Family comes in all sorts of combos does it not? The ability to embrace our differences, and still love one another is a critical thing.. To be able to see a thing from another person’s perspective takes some concentration, and dedication…and love and acceptance.
It’s far too easy to just stay in our own skin, safely confined to our own flesh, never having the courage to accept, and truly try to enter into another’s hurt.
Empathy… when is it enough, and when do we show this too much? It can be all consuming..it can cause us to not be able to live our own lives.. I can get so caught up in the angst of somebody else’s pain, and trying to quell it, that my insides begin to shrivel up, and die.
I cannot take over someone else’s pain.. I just can’t… nor should I. It is there’s after all, and and I’m not that powerful.. what was I even thinking attempting such a lofty goal.
I believe that there is only one person that can help with that hurt, and that’s Jesus. I’m not trying to preach here, just speak from my own experience is all. Leaving it at the cross with Him, is what I do. I can’t just leave it one time either.. it’s a daily letting go of it all..
This is Mother’s Day weekend, and I am a Mother. I think that sometimes as Mothers, we can get lost in our kids. We raise them, but then when it comes time to let them live their own lives, we struggle with this.
We are no longer in control of them, of what they do.. they are grown. We have to trust that we have raised them to know right from wrong, and good from bad. Hopefully they will be morally sound, and loving people.
I did not expect the sense of loss and loneliness that I would encounter, as my sons had their own lives. I have often wondered what my purpose was now?
I know deep down, that this is right, and natural to let the birds out of your nest, and let them fly freely, and to watch them soar to heights that you never could have expected.
I give a shout out to Moms out there, to Aunts whose love is transforming, to Grandmothers, and sisters who love unconditionally, and to girlfriends whose friendships I would not want to be without.
We are women who nurture, and yearn to see those under our care flourish into amazing adults.
To confine our children to our side, where they feel they cannot leave us, does no good to anyone. It stunts the growth of everybody involved. As you can see, I am doing my own exploration into my own psyche. The visual of this lattice work on the railing of the deck reminds me that it is improper and painful to fence someone in.
A person needs to feel free, and secure in their love for another. It is not something to be claimed, but rather a choice that is made daily for me to love and live well.
It is a soul searching time, and a time of healing.. I think healing is a continual movement, like the shifting of the seasons, it cannot be contained in a box.
It is fresh every day, whether there is rain, snow, sunlight, or darkness, it is there to be reached for.
The sky is incredibly blue…and new dreams are on the horizon, whether you are 2, or 52….