Daily Archives: August 7, 2011

The Slow Way

My middle sister refers to my cottage as “Ground Zero.” The place in our lives that no matter what happens, will always remain the same. Will stir up the some of the best emotions. Will take us back to digging up razor clams on the beach as children, running up and down the fields when walking is just too slow, and kissing the boyfriends we brought here as teenagers.

Everyone has a happy place, and without a doubt, my cottage on the North Shore of Nova Scotia is mine.

Since “getting sick,” everything has been up in the air. I made tons of plans for this summer, and now all of them are dependent on how I’m feeling that week, or that day. When I saw the sun would be shining this weekend, it didn’t take much to convince my family to go back to the cottage with me.

Sister Sara and I hit the road in her new sporty coupe on Friday. I gave the wrong directions while controlling the stereo, as every good passenger should.

One of the big reasons why I moved back home to the Maritimes, apart from being closer to my family, was to be closer to the countryside. I’ve always known I’m a country girl at heart. We’ll call Toronto my “city experiment” that only solidified these suspicions. Give me never-ending fields of green grass and bails of hay to crawl over and I’m a happy camper.

Despite my rusty navigational skills, anyone who knows me knows I will ALWAYS be able to find you a decent restaurant or bakery. I’m like a moth to a delicious flame. Sara and I expertly found a German bakery housed in an old farmhouse with turkeys running around, a place we used to stop by frequently as children.

My sister lived in Germany for a while, so while she chatted up the owner in Deutsch, I of course got to business surveying the goods. We left with some of that apple streudel on the right and chocolate covered almond cookies.

The best part about my cottage, without a doubt, is the air. Ohmygod. It’s intoxicating. The second you open the car door, you’re hit with a cool breeze mixed with scents of grass, salt, and sand if the flats are out.

There are usually three choices upon arriving at the cottage: sit down and crack open a beer, go for a swim, or grab the dog and go for a walk. Guess which one I always choose?

How can you deny a dog the chance to make this face? He LOVES it here! Picture me prancing through the grass too with a big goofy grin as we walked along the gravel roads together.

We spied many things you sometimes only see in the country, but most of all just people and animals being themselves in a wide open space.

Take for instance, this cat chasing a chipmunk off in the distance. By the way, I totally saved that chipmunk’s life by distracting the cat taking this picture.

And of course, your requisite insect-on-a-flower shot. I’ve always wanted to take one of these!

Despite the fatigue hanging over me from the chemotherapy, there is something about the cottage that makes me work through it and feel better.

There are a lot of times over the course of the day when I think about where my life has led to. About the cancer. About being home. About maybe never having a family of my own, or getting sick again several years down the road. Yes, I am a pretty positive person, but let’s not pretend I don’t have a lot of things to worry about too.

With all that said, this summer has taught me something. I could have spent my whole life travelling from city to city, looking for something I was never going to find. When in reality, it’s been next to me the whole time. It’s not always about searching for happiness, but rather being still enough to let it come find you. Because when you wipe away the things that worry and scare you, you will sometimes find the beauty in the world you never knew existed.

Not just words for you today, but a gentle reminder for me too :)

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