There's something about being at the cottage that instantly relaxes you and allows you to feel the intimate connection that you have to everything, it's as though you're a part of the surroundings, a part of the forest rather than just a guest.
Cottaging is also the perfect family friendly outdoorsy activity that pleases everyone. Not just that, it's the perfect place to teach your kids about nature; and about the inter-connectivity of all things and species on earth as they can witness it first hand through nature walks, animal watching, swimming etc.
For a slower pace we head to the cottage. It provides a quiet and relaxing environment and a much needed escape from the overwhelming velocity of the city and from our daily lives. The rustic elegance of our little wooden cottage provides the ideal respite from city living. While being on the lake provides ample time for swimming, boating, canoeing, paddleboarding - truly a never ending myriad of activities to both keep fit; relax and explore your beautiful surroundings. Our only goal while at the cottage is to spend as much time as possible outdoors, whether it's reading, napping or just enjoying the view. But the hours spent in pure, indulgent laziness and absolute silence is where I find my Zen. It's the counterpoint to the über busy life, the point where you can literally hang out and be truly surrounded not only by nature, but also by peace.
Everything just seems healthier at the cottage, with ample veggies and fruit provided by the local farmer's market we know where our food is coming from. This coupled with being outdoors all the time, away from media and processed foods we also find that we feel more energetic. Cooking healthy, delicious food becomes a priorty, not like the rushed and strewn together meals during the week, where we're running from work to school to pick up little ones and shuttle them to activities while stuffing food in their faces so they don't fade mid-soccer, or mid-hockey practice. Without the constraints of the daily schedule at the cottage, there just seems to be a more holistic sense of our days. Whether it's lounging or splashing in the lake, it all counts as long as it feels good, there is no pushing anyone to do any chores because chores don't exist at the cottage, helping out becomes second nature when the kids aren't lured away by screens and video games, they are more focused and willing to help all around with a sense of family as a priority.
From the Victoria long weekend onwards our family can be found at the cottage, alongside the loons and the bugs and the moose in complete bliss. Life and family becomes the priority, instead of the mundane routine of work and school. Cottaging is not for everybody, but for us it is the ultimate pleasure and one that we hope to share with family and friends for years to come.
All pictures by Samantha Freeman-Attwood except the last, Loon photo by Ano Lobb
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