Cottage Living with Dani ~ Feeling Grateful

Visiting tiny shops throughout our beautiful region and visiting local cottages and homes, I often notice themes of ‘being thankful and blessed’ as trendy home decor sayings. 

Signs and pillows with bold “THANKFUL” and “BLESSED” scrolled across them and social media reels and celebrities that hashtag the words ‘grateful’ and ‘blessed’ fill our social streams on a daily basis. As the season changes from summer to autumn, it’s a time when I, like many others, prepare for family get-togethers and meaningful holiday traditions. As the green shades of summer foliage change to brilliant harvest reds and golds, I can’t help but think about what I am thankful for. 

It’s an easy question to ask, ‘what am I thankful for?’ But, in a time when we’re faced with news headlines about pandemics, recession and catastrophic crimes; it can be difficult to find something to be grateful for.  For many individuals, the past few years have been bleak, fraught with hopelessness. I myself have dealt with days where the ‘uncertainty’ of everyday life weighs heavy on the heart and the glimmer of thankfulness has not always been able to shine through. 

As I began to ponder the things in my life that I appreciate, I had to leave my work space. I had to leave the everyday noise behind to recenter and focus on the things that matter most. I, of course, had to go to the water. To the lake…where I could think, where I could just. . . be.

The wonderful thing about Autumn is the cool air that it brings with it. The crisp nights that have just the right amount of nip to your nose and the early morning mist that slowly dissipates from the inky black waters is like a reset to the soul. Surrounded by these inky waters I began to let go of that everyday noise that surrounded my thoughts. With eyes closed and deep inhalations, my lungs consumed the forest air. A forest is never silent. It hums with the rustlings of eager squirrels and the chirps of stories from songbirds and crows. As the breeze dances through the knotted pines that sway their gentle waltz, the forest whispers a soothing melody. The thrum of the forest song eases one’s mind, one’s heart, one’s soul. This is my place, where I come to find myself, to find my peace. This sanctuary, where only the lake and the forest are my fellowship, I can find my gratefulness. 

My thoughts swirl of how blessed I am that my children have a beautiful place that they can swim and camp at. I am thankful for the memories of new experiences and adventures that have been conquered and mastered and for parents who have given myself and my children a love for the lake. Lastly, I am thankful for my husband who will hike down these forest trails, paddleboard across the lake with me, teach our children how to cliff jump and above all else, be willing to jump in the freezing cold lake in October and remove the dock. 

By Danielle McNelly, Nortech Windows, Doors & Sunrooms