|photo by Harley James on Flickr|
Today, I said my goodbyes to Muskoka.
As I awakened, but had yet to open my eyes, I thought I was still at home. When my eyelids fluttered and slowly took in my surroundings, I realize I am under the snug security of cozy cabin quilts with cedar logs encasing my morning's world. I peak through the blind that hides nature's early activities and immediately shoot out of bed upon realizing this is our last weekend in the Muskokas this summer.
I scramble out of my oversized T-Shirt and into my bathing suit, still a little wet from yesterday's dip in the warm waters. I tiptoe into the children's bedrooms, inviting them with whispers to join me for an early morning jet-ski ride on water so still, it mirrors the cloudy, blue sky with precision. They grumble and turn away, sinking themselves deeper into their blankets and wrestle their minds back to dreamland where their superpowers are real and not just make-believe.
It is early and the cabin is quiet. Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins sleep. I tiptoe back to my room and, without expectation, nudge my husband to come and join me on the water as I saunter out of the cabin and down to the dock.
I ready one jetski, untying the boater's knot and slipping it off the ramp when I hear him approach. My husband did roll out of bed and proves he is the smartest one in the cabin, aside from me, to take in this early morning gift. We untie the second jetski and we are soon off, keeping the engines at a low hum until the narrow channel opens itself up before us.
The vast lake is incredibly smooth, like glass, and the sky's image stamps a copy of itself atop the water. I open the throttle and break through the mist and it is like riding on soft pillows of air. I am floating on top of clouds rather than skimming water below them.
Once miles out from shore, I slow down then turn off my engine and pull the key from its socket. I float, listening to the water lap the sides of the ski. My husband pulls up and does the same. We sit and rock and say goodbye to a great summer at the cottage as the sun rises above the Canadian Shield. I relfect on the memories we made and I store them safely within my mind until old age threatens to steal them from me.
But I have a strong feeling that these moments --these summers with family and friends -- are much like the the Muskoka ground on which we play. Made of rock and unmovable.