If I could have one wish today - aside from the obvious and ever-present wish of having Thomas back - it would be that I could somehow find myself sitting by the shore of the lake I knew as a child, watching the water lap up over the stones and sand my Grandma used to rake into a fresh beach every spring. She fought with grass, weeds and the tiny nubs of new pine trees that littered her beautiful little beach each year after the winter snows receded.
That's life cottage life in Northern Ontario for you.
And I loved it. The smell of it, the look of it, the feel of it - how I felt when I was there.
It was the most magical place I've ever known. The sound of the wind tickling the trees in the wood lot beside the cottage, the screech of the red squirrels, the chill of the morning air, the heat of the afternoon, the lazy tick-tock of the clock in the tiny kitchen that now hangs broken in my own, the cheese-slice sandwiches and orange pop for lunch, walks to the bridge with gravel crunching beneath my feet and the smell of road tar in my nose, bonfires with gooey toasted marshmallows, wet bathing suits draped on the porch railing, laundry dancing on the line strung between the cottage and a tall maple tree, the mist on the pre-dawn water, row boat rides to the cove across the lake, swimming until we were wrinkled and chilled to the bone.
If I could just go back there. Drink my fill of it. Take refuge in it.
I could breathe in strength from that sweet, beautiful world I loved so much, and take enough with me to help me cope with the world I live in now. The one filled with fear and sorrow and frustration. The one that doesn't make any sense and the one that would be unbearable were it not for the people I love who keep me sane and grounded.
I love them with all my heart. But sometimes I still just want to sit by the lake.