Monday, June 11, 2007

Some calm amidst chaos


Meet Morris. He is the official guard moose at our cottage. He was a Christmas gift from my husband many years ago. He has been keeping watch over the bay 24/7, 365 days a year and is well loved by all who spot him. Visitors on the lake often circle back to get a closer look, sure they saw something peering at them from our property.
His initiation into cottage life was a story unto itself. Morris was transported in our pick-up truck up the 400 highway, securely bungeed in position, wearing ski goggles and a scarf. The honking of horns and laughter of surrounding motorists was sheer delight. I think we have a picture somewhere of just how silly he looked.
Over the years, Morris has become dwarfed by many of the evergreen trees we have transplanted from around the lake and will be relocated as soon as we have 4 strong people to move him. We have a perfect, more visible spot for him where we lost a tree to a storm last year. A good vantage point for him to keep watch and for passersby to spot him. Morris has become an important part of the landscape, and like all the other elements, needs things need to be moved because of too much shade.
Although I was never a gardener by choice, I have become quite a good gardener by accident. Very much the trial and error approach versus the horticultural scholar. The past two Saturdays have been weeding days, which I love. I think weeding is the one activity that I do without thinking - about anything. It's rather hypnotic, like staring into a fire - you just get lost in it and hours fly by. It's extremely therapeutic. And when you are done, everything looks better. Plants look happier and order is restored. Yes, even to a cottage garden.
These renovation days, it is even more therapeutic, because everything inside the cottage is so out of control. Progress is being made, albeit more slowly than we hoped, in so many areas that everything is in disarray.
So we drive up from the city and spend the day tending to the exterior. After we check progress on the inside and ooh and aah over what's been done, we get to work outside. These days our real sense of accomplishment is in the whacking and the weeding and the tending to the grounds.
We know we will have order restored on the inside eventually. And our inside tasks will become the rhythm of our weekends. But in the meanwhile, we create our calm on the outside to counterbalance the chaos within.
And Morris keeps watch over our progress.

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