At the cottage

Today I find myself at Sweet Briar Cottage in the Southern Hemisphere.

It’s a blistering summer, the kind where sheets dry on the clothesline in under an hour. Where ice-creams melt before they’ve reached your lips, where your skin is a map of tan lines and sometimes the only option is to close windows and curtains to the endless sun. Today though, there is a strong, cool breeze, and the doors and windows of Sweet Briar Cottage are wide open.

I’m lounging on the couch reading the latest issue of my favourite magazine. The pages are filled with herbal remedies, seasonal recipes, and ideas for simple living. I make a mental note to sign up for some pottery classes.

In the corner of the room the Christmas tree stands serenely against the white wall, offset by a teal window pane. The lights on the tree glitter and wink at me, entwined among the branches and ornaments collected over the last few years. Fallen foliage from outdoor walks is tucked among the green. The breeze catches the ornaments on it’s way through and they sway almost imperceptibly.

Out of the window, the sea roars as waves crash against the shore; a magical place. As the ancient Celtics believed, the shore is neither the land or the sea but rather an in-between; where the veil between worlds is thinner.

I am relishing the last of my space before visitors arrive for festive breakfasts, lunches and dinners over the coming days. This is my favourite time of year but it drains my energy stores. I sip the last of my lavender lemonade and ponder the paradox.

The sun is sinking.

I rise and go to the window, place my hands on the teal pane, scattered with shells, and watch the miraculous end of the day. The might day star glows golden on the water; the boats a silhouette bobbing gently as if weightless. Birds dart and swoop freely in the salty air.

The day is ending. Night is falling. I love this cycle of beginnings and endings; this ordinary miracle.

I close my eyes and breathe in the possibilities.

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