#62 – Peacefulness and Decision Making on the Bruce

Sunrise-on-the-bayFor at least 28 years, we’ve made the trek to the Bruce Peninsula at the end of Father’s Day weekend.  For the first 20 years or so, we rented a cottage with a lovely view of Colpoy’s Bay from folks at St. Jacobs church (See #10 – Ordinary Splendors on the Bruce).

Now we content ourselves with a nearby “resort motel” with a similar view of the bay. After lugging our bags up the outside staircase, we unlock the door to our room.  I glance at the bay through the patio windows. I’m stunned at the sensation of peacefulness that envelops me.

I realize with a start: the body remembers. My body remembers the bay as a place of calm, conducive to mulling over decisions.

Available from Penguin Random House

In his book entitled Sabbath, Wayne Muller submits that “the Sabbath rocks us and holds us until we can remember who we are” (p. 151).  Colpoy’s Bay does that for me.  The bay grounds me and whispers to me once again who I am. Almost always I sink into the utter peacefulness of it.

I’m relieved, for we find ourselves at a crossroads on this visit.  A decision of some significance calls out to be made over the next few weeks.  This might be a good place (I hope)  to mull over all the information we’ve gathered, to consider some implications where we just can’t know, and perhaps to leave the bay with a clearer sense of direction.

But on the Bruce we tend not to sit down to serious heady conversations full of pros and cons. Instead, we quietly mull during our usual relaxed drives around the peninsula. In our ramblings, we like to experience something different each year, so we choose two unpretentious-looking restaurants that have been around for years but that we’ve never tried before.

St-Margarets-ChapelEach year we also like to check out what’s new and what’s the same. So we’re pleased to spot one or maybe two pink Showy Lady Slipper orchids on the Oliphant fen. We’re glad to hear about an ecological upgrade of the Singing Sands fen site now underway (and we hope to visit it in September when it’s finished). We’re happy to see a new parking lot at St. Margaret’s Chapel near Cape Chin, presumably to accommodate worshipers at their summer Sunday evening services.  And I’m overjoyed to find lovely photo cards for sale at a couple different artists’ co-ops, thus resupplying my stash of greeting cards to send to people.

Haze-on-Colpoys-BayBack at the motel, I’m intrigued by the constantly changing moods of the bay and wonder how this might mirror my decision making process. Monday afternoon a mist falls, making indistinct the far shore. Then within half an hour the mist rises like smoke, until it’s completely dissipated and I see trees again across the bay.

In the evening, fog covers all but the very tops of the trees, then clears, and the sun shines through gray clouds as sunset nears.

So…did we make a decision through all this mulling, this noticing of things on our drives,  this imbibing of the moods of the changing bay? Well, yes, sort of. On the way home, one of us expressed a sense of the next step, and the other person agreed. Naming the next step and seeing what happens seemed fitting to us….


This year, no rainbow formed over the bay on our last morning there.  But on our first day back in town, my eye spied something colourful and bright out the window at 5:30 a.m.

It was a huge rainbow…the whole thing visible from our living room window…both ends brilliant, speaking of beauty, God’s constancy, and promise…

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Do you have a relaxing place to mull over decisions that need to be made? Where is this place for you?
  2. How do the changing moods of a favorite lake or river or the ocean commune with your spirit?

Next week:  TBA

6 thoughts on “#62 – Peacefulness and Decision Making on the Bruce

  1. Beautiful reflections once again Sue. Thank you for your writing and sharing.  We’re here in Nfld, lots of fog- then it lifts. With Joel and his family who moved here last August.  May the mists enfold you and Sam and peace always return. Pauline


  2. Your questions remind me of places we once had but have not replaced. The fact that I am missing them probably suggests that we need to find new ones.

    Muriel Bechtel
    515 Langs Dr., Unit J,
    Cambridge, ON
    N3H 5E4
    Home telephone: 519-219-3344
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    Every sunrise brings the promise of a new beginning.


  3. I loved seeing the photos which remind me of our many years visiting the Bruce Peninsula. What a great tradition it has been for you to visit each Father’s Day weekend. This morning I liked the little church which is in South Cape Chin near the little cabin we visited. Seeing your book by Wayne Muller reminded me of an old one by him, How Then Shall We Live. I heard him speak a conference long ago during which he spoke of living amongst people diagnosed with AIDS, which at that time was not treatable. What a lovely gentle kind person he was when we spoke briefly. So much like you.


  4. Thank you for sharing about the Bruce Peninsula in word and photo, ending with the rainbow outside your window at home! Wishing you guidance and peace as you make decisions – Love


  5. Dear Sue,
    Your quote from Muller about the Sabbath’s rocking and holding us is so evocative. I like your description of how being in familiar nature can do the same: “. . .I sink into the utter peacefulness of it.”
    I remember your sensitivity to the desert landscape in Israel and feel I am better at seeing and being in nature thanks to your careful observations!


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