The Magazine of Symphony ….

The nights are colder , the leaves are showing their true colors and just how brilliant they are, because they know undeniably, the chill of winter will be here in a minute .

Sun blinks it’s flirty eyelashes across the waves, as a gentle breeze flutters a tattered Canadian flag upon the bending flag pole. It’s seen many seasons, and has finally come undone, and apart at the seams. It shan’t last until Spring in one piece. She has waved her red maple leaf proudly, but she has grown tired, and needs to be laid to rest appropriately.

Another summer waves good bye, and fall is taking a siesta upon the warn whicker couch in the porch. Branches gently sway, and cast intriguing shadows on the fabric. The sun brings warmth to where I sit, and a blanket lays in puddles on my feet.

The seasons are changing, and with that, the memories come and stay for a night , and the wood smoke from the cracklings fire creates the warm aftermath of family times, and generations past .

I was tempted, and gave into a decorating magazine today …the glossy, and decorative images on the front cover always entices me to flip through the pages.

This reminds me of my Mum. We always bought different housing and gardening magazines as each season came and went, and gleaned decorating ideas, as we flipped through pages, and commented on different concepts that captured our fancy.

Sometimes we had a glass of wine on hand, other times a hot cup of coffee. We would bend over the glossed paper pages at the corner, then after discussing what we liked about our periodicals, we would trade magazines.

It was always such a simple, beautiful way that we connected…. through our shared creative spirits. It excited us to adventure into new visions, and decorating challenges. There was always something to learn, and we marveled at how talented human beings were. It inspired us both .

A collectible teddy bear, with his trusty “Westie ” dog companion, sitting atop a warm golden pine trestle table that has entertained meals for over 40 years…

Somehow spontaneous visits at the lake, are easier, less rehearsed. Friends, family, and neighbors don’t feel the need to call ahead, and arrange a time to drop by for cocktails, appetizers or dinner. They just.. drop by… for a dock visit, or a visit up to the cottage . I really like this aspect of “cottaging.”

The best is when they stay.. and stay.. and there is connection with stories and interactions. Sharing of memories, and making new ones. Oh how much we have missed our get togethers throughout this last year, and the one before .

Spontaneous visits have felt almost obsolete, and just ” dropping in” on someone without warning has all but become as extinct as the dinosaurs. I don’t like it, not one little bit.

The morning mist on Hamer Bay

Colors are brighter and more intense with each passing and colder night, and it feels like Christmas morning, with the wonder of what gift and new shade the leaves will turn next . Being in the moment, and breathing in the Autumn scent as a contented sigh escapes the lips…this is what it’s all about.

“All is still…it is well with my soul”

A coincidental visit occurred a few weekends ago, and the exactness and precision of the timing of it all still staggers my mind.

It felt like a symphony. People and friends that had as yet not been acquainted, and yet needed to be. The mighty conductor was weaving the instruments of time and chance and sound and space so that human beings that needed to share in each others’ lives could connect.

It gives me delightful goose bumps. When conversation flows, and people share with open and unrehearsed vulnerability, their hurts, and weak parts, alongside their joy of living, it is like the chorus of life is awakened, and all of nature listens as we sit visiting in the screened in porch at the lake .

Perhaps it’s the conjoined magic of sitting indoors, while you are actually sitting outdoors? Protected from bugs by the screen, eyes and ears can take in the beauty of nature while not having to give a second thought to creatures buzzing and stinging a person.

I had appetizers cooking in the oven, and had set out a variety of pickles, olives, and nuts, waiting for guests to arrive. There was a creamy cheese and artichoke concoction dip, with toasted garlic, and olive oil crusted bagel pieces alongside for munching. Ripping off slices of paper towel would suffice as napkins, because this is how we roll ” cottage style.” Of course the trusty box of wine had yet to be introduced, but it’s always a crowd pleaser. Expectations are lower when the box arrives, no sniffing of the cork is required, just press ..and pour… ta-da…no pretension..just friendship. Boxes of wine are friendly I just decided.

I did not hear the voices coming up from the lake as they approached because expected guests had driven in at just that same moment, and the excitement of their arrival drowned out the other voices.

I had not seen the ” boat arriving friends”for years. What a wonderful surprise. As introductions to new people ensued, we all sat out in the porch, on weathered couches and communed around the long pine coffee table which had a unique patina from over 40 years of coffee cups, plates, and bare feet. It was well loved, as it should be. The sun was setting, and the light began to fade but we were all engrossed in our shared conversations. We were all lighting up as we shared conversation, libations, and snacks from the charcuterie board. It was spectacular.

Time and chance.. maybe?….. or was it a glorious and beautiful coming together of people that was orchestrated by a master conducted who has such love for his people that he implicitly puts them together so that their lives will be made richer and fuller?

I already know what I think. It could be a happy accident, but I don’t want to miss this symphony that plays out around me. These are the every day miracles that enrich my life.

Future plans get made, after hugs good bye, but not before posing for impromptu photos that can be viewed, and wanting to capture these special moments together.

Sitting still and just remembering, and feeling extraordinarily Thanksgiving for life, and all of its nuances.

When the still is noticed, the soul is coaxed into relaxing, and the mind is allowed to rest, and recuperate…and yes..heal.

When lifelong friends make the effort to show up, and brighten your day, it becomes necessary to commemorate the occasion especially when wearing coordinating checkered shirts. This is Natalie and I. She and I met in college many moons ago. We affectionately refer to each other as ” salt and pepper.”

All of life there are symphony type moments that collectively orchestrate how life is lived. There are choices. Hearing your music, and joining into your song lights up your life.

I sang loudly and unabashedly as I cruised along in Denise’s old Volvo, remembering her riding shot gun, and belting out hymns that we both knew by heart.. The windows were slightly ajar, and our hearts were full.

“Always sing your song.”

Gillian Berry, Me and Sharon Naismith

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