Last night I was visiting with my friend Sara, who lives in Norway Bay. After supper, her two girls hopped in the wagon, and together we all walked down to the pier, which is literally like a two minute walk from her house. We went right out to the end of the pier, where Charlotte swam, I walked around snapping pictures of the lovely view, and we watched a group of teens horsing around in the sand. After awhile, we walked back to the beach, where we waded in water, chatted, and the girls played.
I took a deep breath and realized how happy I was in that moment. Really, truly happy.
And I had the dawning realization that I am very much at my happiest when I am near water.
I've always loved the water. Whether it be a swimming pool, lake, or river, I've always enjoyed being at the water's edge. I love to swim, boat, kayak, and even just sit by it. By the water, I am in my happy place. (And yes, I do need to remember this feeling when we're in the depths of winter, and I'm chirping away about how much I love the snow... ;) )
I am pretty lucky to live where I do. A cozy little community, nestled between the beautiful Gatineau Hills on one side, and the mighty Ottawa River on the other. I don't live on the water myself, but I'm so close. My walks take me down to the river's edge almost on a daily basis, and while we don't have a nice beach in Quyon, I'm literally a 10 minute drive from the Bay, where I could sit with my toes in the water and my ass in the sand pretty much any time I wanted to.
I don't do it nearly enough. And I should. I'm happiest when I'm there. I breathe deeper, and I can just feel this sense of peace and tranquility wrap around me. I'm more calm. The worry and stress that often bog me down, well... they just kind of seep away. I feel like everything will be OK when I'm on the water.
I have friends in town who have a home down on the river bank. They have a breath-taking view, a nice dock, a pontoon boat...they're basically living my dream. And in their bathroom hangs a towel that says: "If you're lucky enough to live by the water, then you're lucky enough". I've been there a few times in the past when the drinks were flowing, and after "a few", I always tell Audrey how much I love that towel, and in turn, she usually tries to give it to me. Then I tell her no, no, I can't take the towel, it doesn't make any sense for me to have it. At least, not now. But maybe someday...
My gosh, how I dream of living on the water some day.
Until that day comes, though, I will just be grateful for my proximity. I can take a ten minute walk and be at the river's edge. And I'll give thanks for the family and friends I have that DO live on water - or have pools - and enjoy the time I get to spend with them there. All of my favourite summer places - the Camp, Aunt Marion & Uncle Eric's beach, Kerry & Jeff's pontoon, Lindsay & Ryan's pool, and of course Sara & Graham's hop-skip-and-jump to the pier & beach - are places I look forward to spending time, and I enjoy every moment spent there with family and friends.
If you are lucky enough to live by the water, you are lucky enough... :)