For 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.
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.
Each 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.
Back 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:
- Do you have a relaxing place to mull over decisions that need to be made? Where is this place for you?
- How do the changing moods of a favorite lake or river or the ocean commune with your spirit?
Next week: TBA