Growing up in a small town, I dreamed of urban living. The bigger the city the better, and I wanted to get there as fast as possible. I wanted the hustle and bustle, the amenities, the skyline, the endless possibilities. While I did go to university in a fairly large city, I ended up settling in a smaller northern city where I currently live. Not only do I love it because it’s close to my hometown (which allows me to visit family often), but now that I am older, I cherish the simplicity of life away from the “big city”. And lately I am realizing that the older I get, the more appreciation I have for living in the north surrounded by nature.
In fact, lately I am actually experiencing an unusual craving for nature. I say unusual because I wouldn’t describe myself as a particularly outdoorsy person. I enjoy camping – but only in provincial parks with flush toilets and lots of other fellow campers nearby. I don’t swim often but when I do, I prefer pools over lakes. I like to go for walks, but never in the woods alone since one can never be sure what’s lurking out there. I’ve promised myself for three years straight that I am going to learn to kayak, but I’ve still never set foot near one. Often as I’m driving our local highways, I take everything for granted and forget to enjoy the beauty of our northern rivers, lakes, trees, and fields.
But not lately.
Lately I can’t get enough of the glory of the nature that surrounds me. I am fortunate enough that my hour commute to work is down a secondary highway lined with beautiful evergreens and dotted with lakes and rivers. The scenery is often breath-taking, especially in the fall when the leaves change colour or when the sun is at just the right angle so the water on the lake glistens and sparkles. Even in the winter, when the sun is setting through the long, bare branches of the trees, I appreciate the beauty.
As I am getting older, I am discovering a new appreciation for the outdoors and I am pretty sure I know why. I’m at a time in my life where the days, weeks, months, and years seem to be speeding by. My step-kids are teenagers, my career is finally becoming established, my parents are nearing retirement. While life is hurrying along, I am trying desperately to slow things down. To learn to relax. To live each day to its fullest. To find peace and serenity. So I am not sure if it’s the actual wilderness I am craving, as much as it is everything it has to offer.
The peace and tranquility.
The quiet and calm.
The serenity and beauty.
The simplicity and relaxation.
The easy, relaxed, slow way of life that happens in the country and that allows one the opportunity to look around and truly treasure the moment they’re in.
Along with this newfound love of nature, comes my ever increasing desire for a lakefront property – either a cottage or even a home – somewhere peaceful, quiet, and simple. Somewhere where I can look out the window and have a spectacular view of one of our beautiful northern lakes. Somewhere with a screened in porch for summer evenings and a huge deck for barbeques and family gatherings. Somewhere where I can sit outside in the sun, drinking coffee, and reading books. Somewhere where I can hear the loons calling on the lake in the morning, and the crickets and frogs singing at night. Somewhere secluded and private – away from the hustle and bustles and stresses of life – surrounded by beautiful greenery, and lots and lots of trees. Surrounded by nature – and everything it has to offer.
Check out some more of my cottage inspiration inspired by my Pinterest board “Cottage Love”.