Recently I read a book, sent from a dear friend, entitled, ‘When Breath Becomes Air,” by Paul Kalanithi. The lake, you know, is the perfect place to read a book. It’s also the perfect season for reading and lounging. With winter fading away and spring not yet here, there is no pressure to do or be anything spectacular. There’s no pressure to do yard work or garden, no shoveling or mowing. In fact, the only calling is to the space where life is quiet, where birds are once again beginning to sing and where once can read a book – without interruption.
Kalanithi’s story is one of a promising surgeon who becomes quite ill; it is a fascinating look at medicine, and the dance between doctor and patient. But, it is also a tale that urges us to appreciate life.
Sometimes in the warmth and ‘funshine’ of summer, our minds are not always still enough to appreciate the blessings we have. Many weekends we rush from city to lake or gathering to gathering. Then come the holidays, winter activities, hockey games, outdoor skating rinks and mugs of hot cocoa and coffee. Fall is everything beautiful to the eyes. It is a pallet of warm colours and falling leaves. It is day after day of unpainted scenes. Fall always begs me to walk and think and wish I were a painter.
But spring, well spring, is another story. It is the time of cocooning just before you learn to fly. It is the perfect time to take stock of everything you have, and everything you want more of, a season of inventory. It is time to book cottages and campsites. It’s time to make vacation plans, weeks spent with kids, and families you don’t see often enough. And, it is time to read.
Transitions are those perfect times in life when everything isn’t perfect. When you can’t necessarily see the leaves or the blooms. When there is no sign of the past or the future, when you’re in a fleece holding onto faith in the lake. Those of the times, when it’s more important than ever, to connect with family and the people you love.
Transitions can be times of uncertainty and stillness. Times when there isn’t enough, where the world sheds its winter skin and where progress is not yet visible.
Jeanette Winterson said, “In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.”
Perhaps your chance is lakeside, with a roaring fire and a hot soak. Sitting with just yourself or a cabin of friends, and of course…a good book.