Two Sundays ago I sat sweltering in our living room unable to escape the 44 degree Celsius weather outside. The husband and I considered driving to a lake nearby before we remembered that our car broke down the day before two hours prior to attending a wedding. And considering we live in a boring suburb with minimal bus service we weren’t about to rely on public transportation to get us anywhere.
So I sulked.
“I want to get out of this city soooo bad!!!”
That evening I prayed one of my whimsical prayers that someone would just invite us to a cottage freeing us from the city heat.
The next day I got a text from my friend Sarah in Toronto.
“I know you’re probably both working, but my parents rented a cottage halfway between both of us and I’m up here for the week. If you have the time, feel free to come.”
“YEEEESSS!” I responded. “We will BE there!”
I work two jobs; one Mon-Wed and the other Thurs-Fri. I knew I couldn’t get out of job #1 because I had rearranged my schedule the week prior when husband’s parents came to visit. However I decided not to worry about getting time off work and considered this instead an answer to prayer. Of course it would work out! On Tuesday morning’s conference call for job #2 I began the conversation by saying I wouldn’t be in that week. As a casual employee, there’s a little more leniency when it comes to time off. Not a problem, they said. YEAH!
And so Wednesday evening Simon picked me up from work and we drove to a beautiful cottage on Oak Lake.
I told Simon on the drive down, “I just can’t wait to be buoyant!”
He put his hand on my knee and asked me lovingly, “When’s that going to happen?”
I responded with a laugh, “As soon as I get in the water!”
He looked at my quizzically.
“Buoyant.” I repeated. “Like, I just can’t wait to float.”
“Ohhhh,” he said.
“Did you think buoyant meant joyful?” I asked.
“Yeeeeah,” he replied sheepishly.
Not surprising, considering how down in the dumps I’ve been lately, and how on the same Sunday I prayed for a cottage I told Simon how much I missed my hometown friends.
We arrived at nearly 10pm and I was dying for the time in the lake. I love the lake. And I missed an entire summer last year of lake swimming. Not once did I jump of a dock or lounge around in a floaty. Thankfully Sarah and I are almost always on the same wavelength.
“Want to go swimming?!” she asked.
“Yes!!” I said. And the return to buoyancy commenced.
The next day we slept in, spent hours in the lake, went for a boat ride, ate delicious food, sat in stillness, read books, and played Settlers of Catan – twice. It was glorious.
On our drive home on Friday we talked about how necessary it is to unplug – no phone, no computer, no internet, no distractions, and ultimately, nothing to do. It’s an amazing feeling, and one I’ve gone way too long without. I don’t know if I’m just getting old and grey, but sometimes city life is just too much for me. I need a quiet, restful place. I need the lake. I need my friends – the ones who have known me for years. I look forward to settling down in a community, and gasp – we never thought we’d say this! – one outside of the city.
And that, my friends, was my sweet escape. I didn’t even take a picture – I was too busy enjoying the moments.