I once read a story about a mother telling her daughter how she once packed all she could into a backpack and rode her bike across the country. This was the type of story I once dreamed of telling my daughter one day. My dream was to backpack through Europe, spend Christmas walking down cobblestone streets in England as snowflakes drifted down peacefully, Tasting macaroons and crepe in Paris, maybe take a detour in Amsterdam to see were Anne Frank Hid away all those years ago. I dreamed of living in a cottage all year round surrounded by trees and a pond, hiding away from the world and writing my masterpiece. I have been unable to follow through yet but the Wanderlust is still there.
I do have a story to tell my daughter though, a story of that long ago summer I spent in a cottage in Muskoka just me and my parents. We spent hours driving as I watched through the open window at the beautiful trees, long grass, fields of flowers and beautiful pristine lakes past by. I was entering an entirely different world, one without a life of hectic tasks, without a wifi connection, a place filled with the sounds of grasshoppers and natural running water, somewhere that your nose was filled with the smells of campfires and flowers, of natural wood and dirt.
I can tell her of how being in that cottage was the happiest moment of my life other then her birth. The time spent there filled me with a sense of spirituality that I have never felt again or I can quite explain, it filled one with a sense of peace and love for mother nature that one can not achieve unless you are deep in the thick of nature. It filled me with a feeling of home; every night I went to bed, every morning I woke up, every moment at the lake made me think “this is were I belong.”
Beginning the story I would have to mention that the entire time we were there we had no running water. One of the pumps broke, and after having multiple people sent out to fix it, it never was fixed by the time we left. We made due though, bottles of water for cooking, and we bathed in the lake…that is right we went to the lake in our bathing suits and bathed in a lake that early in the morning still had flimsy pieces of ice one had to gently crack to get past. One of the days my father mentioned he really needed to wash his hair and how the water was to cold to do it though, but he cupped his hands and poured water over his head, I had not washed my hair since being at the cottage and me wanting to one up him decided to wash my hair off by dunking my head below the surface, was that ever freezing! I am so glad I did that though, I felt a simple pride in myself and that simply makes a good story to tell Lily.
The time was spent exploring many of the nature trails through Algonquin park that made choosing what was and wasn’t photo worthy difficult, I took so many photos that trip that I filled an entire large memory card, I grew to feel such a close connection to my father who is a nature photographer, we both always had our camera in hand. It was there that I realized my favorite way to exercise is by walking a trail through a forest, preferably either early evening or early in the morning. It’s were I sat peacefully on the porch being more honest to my mother then I ever had before. It’s were I spent hours reading outside under the trees and just sitting by the water listening it ripple and move, watching the tiny splashes of fish coming to the top.
I always feared I would never have a good enough story to tell my daughter, something that she would be impressed with, something she would be proud to tell her own friends. Looking back at the time in my life I believe this is the perfect inspiring story to tell my daughter. This trip to Muskoka, was the most inspiring and zen part of my life. I had no tasks to complete other then the ones I wish to do myself like walking the trails, I had no one I felt I needed to impress with my clothes or my fitness level; I was just flowing day by day, living moment to moment. That I believe will be an amazing story to tell my daughter, a moment in life that I felt truly connected to my parents, to nature, to happiness and tranquility.
“Place your hands into soil to feel grounded. Wade in water to feel emotionally healed. Fill your lungs with fresh air to feel mentally clear. Raise your face to the heat of the sun and connect with that fire to feel your own immense power” Victoria Erickson