I wish I lived with a view of the water. When I am at the cottage I spend each morning and each evening watching the colours change. In the mornings, the stillness spreads across smooth waters, birds break the silence with their songs, and misty fog rises up and then rolls out from the river into the bay. By 9:00 am the bay is alive, trees dance in the sparkling wind, and voices crowd out the birds.
In the evenings, the sky is painted in colour and as the ripples slow on the water’s surface the colour soaks into the bay too, reaching from the horizon line to where the water meets rock.
This summer I wrote poetry at the cottage. Sunrises and sunsets slid into the imagery. Nature teaches me to start and end my day in reflective stillness.
At home, I sometimes watch the sunrise but it isn’t the same seeing the light move over the roof of the house in my backyard and then shining off the windows of the house across the street. The stillness isn’t as dramatic without the water. During most sunsets I am working and soon the days will be shorter and I’ll be leaving for work in the dark and driving home in the dark.
How can we hold onto the gift of summer’s sunrises and sunsets through fall and winter? How can I recreate this sacred solitude at home, away from this inspiring landscape and vibrant colour?
Tonight as I watched the sunset I couldn’t help but think that when I leave for the season, this will continue here without me.
And as I move into another school year, like many educators, I’m thinking about how I can hold onto this feeling of peace. I don’t have the answer yet. Maybe photos will help, like these from a boat ride at sunset in August 2015.