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Today the lake is contemplative, sun dancing on the snow, one sparkly step at a time. The wind calm and the birch trees bare, like 2017. It’s always quiet here though, a place of serenity, a spot to retreat to, a destination for tranquility.

It is the place, as Keats said in ‘On the Grasshopper and Cricket,’ where “The poetry of earth is never dead.”

Declarations are best set in nature, when the world is quiet and the mind is still. May 2017 bring you a bounty of peace. May you find yourself always in the company of people who lift your spirits, may you feel buoyant. May your feet spend more time on grass and less on concrete. May you hear more birdsongs and less noise pollution. May you fall asleep to the lull of the lake rather than the roar of traffic and may you always, even should it be your own, surround yourself with the companionship people who make you feel poetic.

2016 was a year of careful unfolding. It was stanzas of family and good friends. It was the changing colours of the leaves and the sky, at sunset and at dawn. It was the smell of a fire and the melting of marshmallows.

Our first season at the Lodge was one of wonder. Often we saw little feet bare, little hands full. We raked, cut and chopped happily knowing our efforts fuelled another poem. Another season.

In a time when many people are over taxed, run ragged and together less, we witnessed the collection of kinship and friendship, right here at the lake.

And so as you embark upon a new calendar year, a fresh page, a clean slate, may you feel empowered to declare 2017 a year of slowing down and making life count. May you know when you need to recharge and have the ability to take the time to do so. May you model for your children the good habits of unplugging; bringing to light the benefits of being in nature, being together and being alive.

Our declaration is to feel every day, take note of the miracles and make time for those who matter. From all of us here at the lake, including the words of the late American poet Keats, we wish you everything poetic, everything alive.

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