My heaven on earth

A cottage with a lake 20 steps away but feels like 10 if you run fast enough and a lake always ready to catch you might actually, truly, be the best place on earth.

My parents bought this cottage when I was four years old. I learned to swim and have spent every summer of my life since there.

The lake in Gatineau is small, so there are not many cottages on it. It is nice and intimate for that reason. Meaning, yes, it is the cottage four houses down where children have been awake and playing loudly, as kids typically do, on a lake that echoes louder than has a reason.

The beauty of our cottage comes from within. The walls are old and wooden but well-kept, and the staircase isn’t just any staircase. You must remember to duck at the top, or you will hit your head, because the ceiling lowers, for no apparent reason. If my 6’5 brother can do it and get the hang of it, have faith you can too. Taking a quick left turn from these stairs, you will find an upstairs balcony where I often sit. It overlooks the lake in a way that is difficult to see on the ground level but is worth the view if heights do not deter you.

I have done a lot of traveling in my life thus far. I visited Paris on my 17th birthday and yes, I was that lucky, London every few years to see family. I lived in New Zealand for two years.

My standard for beauty is high, but my cottage still wins first place for me. A place with annual campfires and marshmallow roastings, swimming, both late night and early morning, singing birds, including loons and windows that let in the sun so beautiful you are not mad it is waking you up. Here, banana muffins became a favourite because my mom and I were always baking them or where, “this is the life,” became a saying in our household, the list of good times really goes on.

This is my cottage on a bad day.

Perhaps it is the memories with the people I love that attaches me to this place, and there are many. But it feels like more. I love that I know to jump on the first step into the cottage because it is raised or that is it safer to take the stairs down to the lake rather than the path, especially right after the rain, because it is far more slippery than it looks. Trust me.

This is my cottage, the best place on earth. Anyone who wants to say otherwise can take it up with me and I will, respectfully, list all the reasons why you are mistaken.

So, until summer returns and I am back in my favourite place, I will stick to writing about it and telling everyone, you included, just how awesome, and truthfully, how much I miss my cottage.


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