Saturday, October 23, 2010
Morning on the Magnetawan, 8x10 watercolour (available at Etsy).
I have friends that live in the woods, literally. They inhabit a small cottage on the Magnetawan River, a property which is now nestled well within the boundaries of Magnetawan Provincial Park. They live a lifestyle that is a strange contrast in luxury and austerity. For instance, they watch opera nightly on their flat screen tv, they read classic literature to one another within the comfort of their lakeside gazebo, but, lacking plumbing, they must venture into the great outdoors for each and every call of nature be it during the warmth of the day, or depths of a cold winter night. When I visit them, as I did this Thanksgiving, I share the lifestyle for a few brief days.
During the day, the visits to the, um, gravity operated facilities, are not a bad thing. If you leave the door open, live entertainment is provided in the form of tame chickadees that converge on nearby saplings. And while it takes no small degree of multitasking, one can reach into a handy can of birdfeed, and share a moment with these little friends. The phrase, “must feed the birds” of course has a whole new meaning at their house.
At other times, of course, this ‘call to nature’ may be less than pleasant, but there are compensations, being called forth to venture out beneath starry skies for instance, or on my last visit, forced out of bed far too early, I was so privileged to bear witness to a beautiful sunrise. Upon seeing that their was a thick morning mist that suffused the sky with a pink glow, I grabbed my camera detoured down to the dock, knowing that such moments are brief, ephemeral and not to be missed. So there I stood, sleepy, yawning, chilled and crossing my legs rather tightly so that I could make proper homage to the rising sun, delaying the most necessary tasks for as long as possible.
All well worth it, and worth noting that even the most banal of moments can lead to the sublime.