cottages: published draft from before

07/06/2010 § Leave a comment

Two of the three lady-racers sat in the sun on the picnic table, a small guitar, of what name it bears I have no idea, and their voices. It was a moment of nostalgia when the first tune strummed was The Sailor’s Song, from their album Here and Now.

She can’t make him stay

She can’t make him change his ways

She can’t make him stay

But he takes the wind out from under her feet so,

She can sail away

I was standing under the only shade I could find, toes pointed out in a ballerina’s stance, ready to dance. The melodic rhythm stopped me still as, in that instant, I was transported back to Free Times Cafe, the small-venue, lowly-lit, cozy and intimate. That moment, in that cafe, behind the curtains in the back, where we all sat and huddled around pints and applause. So close, yet so far.

I came back to, still in stance ready to dance, the ladies still in harmony. It put a lump in my throat. Every good song should evoke emotion.

It was a good feeling, though. Not one of sadness but of complete appreciation. How fortunate to be amongst good people, I thought to myself. To be given the opportunity to find such people, people with something to say and sing about, who hold the ability to express their happiness and woe so beautifully.

Cottages are made to collect people, to group them together and gently push them to interact together. We are amidst the long, tick-infested grass, trees hover above our fresh-cut corner in this universe, the waves slap against the stony shores of our eternal present. At a cottage, we are surrounded by a sense of vastness that we perceive as nothingness. Within it, people will find something to talk, or sing, about.

Freedom of speech was just one topic of many that we touched on.

Love was another.

Cottages are a congregation of whiskey and beer, physical relaxation and mental stimulation, clambeergers and canoes, saunas and s’mores and salvia. It is about sharing a time that is untainted by having things-to-do, in fact, human action is purified by doing not-much-at-all. In essence, cottages transport us back to nature, to let us step back and gain some perspective, feel the bigger picture.

Cottages jog good times of the past and good people of the present. They let you romanticize what the future will bring.

A and I were discussing our hopes for the future, the things we hope it will bring, but most importantly the people we will surround ourselves with. I mentioned that I might want to head back south, to get away, to be away from where my feet were. Itchy-Feet Disease.

How could I be fantasizing of the future when I was surrounded by the sublime essence of Amherst Island? What is it? It seems as though something inside me is always trying to break free and escape, like I try to picture a more interesting life outside of the one I am already living. The interesting thing is I lived a “different” life for 6 months and I was not myself. Then, I realized, there are things I need to come to terms with before I could ever be truly content: I need to be happy with my self before I can find a peace with my surroundings.

The truth is, every person needs to feel like he or she is actualizing something in his or her life. Each needs to find a passion or hobby to remind him or herself that there is more to life than the grind. It gives a person a purpose, like he or she is not fading into the background.

Is that a gift or a curse of our society? How do 6 billion people leave an imprint or legacy? Is it for the many, each individual, or for the few? It has been something on my mind, especially when I look at my inspirational friends and all that they have accomplished, even if they do not recognize those accomplishments themselves.

Huh. There it was: each friend has left an impression on me, whether it’s a story to tell or a phrase that made a clicking sound as soon as it entered my thoughts. I guess a legacy is more than an artifact or script or recording that stands the test of time. What stands the test of time are relationships because, even if death, memories live on.

Sitting at the cottage, remembering beautiful times left behind, reminding myself that all good things should come to an end so that you can truly appreciate them and not be bitter about them. Undoubtedly new experiences will be had, and thos


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