We’ve run away to our aunt’s cottage on Lake Ontario for a couple of days since we didn’t get to travel anywhere really this summer with my being very pregnant and then delivering. Even though we’re still responsible for our two children, it feels nice to step away from the daily routine and be around the water for a bit.
I’m hoping to have a couple of months of being able to get outside more, now that the baby is almost 4 weeks old. Last weekend, we sat with some family at their campsite at a state park for a few hours, and we’ve started taking walks around our neighborhood. It was really difficult being cooped up inside for several weeks, and I want to get to my favorite hiking trails at least once before they close up at the end of October.
Getting back to nature is one of the ways I draw inspiration for my creative work and heal myself, and I am so glad my son likes to walk the trails with me. I can’t wait to introduce my daughter to that as well.
On Saturday, I made the two hour trek with my 3 1/2 year old son to my aunt-in-law’s cottage on Lake Ontario for a clambake (the same cottage we stay at in our annual New Year artist/writer retreat). As soon as we got there and started in on our greetings, my son started saying “I want to go see the water! Go see the water?”, and I told him that we had to finish saying hello to people first. After the round of hellos were through, hand in hand, the two of us ran to the deck overlooking the water, wind in our faces, laughing and shrieking at the cold. Then we stood on the deck, watching the water, though I was torn between finding solace in the waves and just watching my son watch the water. Then he was off, running, me at his heels until he reached out his hand for me again, and we went to the neighbor’s deck, which sits lower to the water and he had explored this past 4th of July. And again, we both just watched the waves and felt the wind and grinned at each other. We bundled up later and spent more time by the water.
It was one of those absolutely perfect moments that life hands to you at times, that indelibly imprints in your mind and lets you replay it like a movie. I don’t talk a lot here about my son (beyond complaining about him keeping me up at night) or my views on motherhood, but it is such a profound joy to me. Every day that I get to spend watching him grow further into himself, every moment he slows me down and lets me see the world through his eyes, every time his sweet smile makes my heart feel so full that it should overflow but somehow it doesn’t, it gives everything else in my life such profound meaning.
It was worth having to stay up late Friday and Sunday night working to be able to do the trip, to go to the water’s edge and have this time with my son. All I could think as we ran to the water was Please don’t let him ever lose the joy of running full into the wind and loving the water. I hope he keeps it into adulthood as I have. As a seemingly inherited trait, there are far worse ones he could have.
The whitecaps are stunning. They crest with amazing intensity, and it is difficult to tell the difference between the spray of the water and the snow whipped around by the wind. I think I was a mermaid in a past life. Or maybe an Atlantean priestess. I could watch water for hours.
I’ll post my reflective New Year post tomorrow. For now, it’s time to get to work. Happy New Year’s Eve! Be safe!