There are places that bring you back to yourself. My friend’s house at the edge of a cold, clear Ontario lake does this. It is mostly window, a small, tidy shelter she designed and her husband built, filled with her artwork — a cocoon of creativity.
Here, the silence is deep and healing, the only sounds water lapping against weathered rock, wind sighing through tall pines, the distant, lazy drone of an airplane, suspended high in the brilliant blue of an empty sky.
The cottage has two large, aging black dogs with grizzled muzzles who snooze on their beds.
We light the woodstove when we awake and keep it fed, its flames glowing through the glass, its rosy glow competing with the sunrise.
In a place popular with summer people, my friends live here year-round — a place lost in time. We’ll canoe across the lake, slicing the water apart, watching the light refracting deep into its depths like a star sapphire.
We revisit our 30-year-old memories, wonder how many times we’ve done it, and look forward to doing it again.
Many people dread and avoid their high school reunions but it was at our 20th that Sally and I rediscovered one another and picked up again as if no time had passed at all. Today, I decided that my chin had a new dimple in it, but she said it’s always had one. Old friends remember stuff like that.
Pines, wind, water, sun, moss, dogs, old vinyl, fire, dear friends.