At the cottage to escape Chalets à Rabais

At the cottage to escape

At the chalet to escape and meet again
I put on my winter boots, my warm coat, and I put my backpack over my shoulder. In this one, I slip my checkered pajamas, various hats (I’m addicted to hats!) Books by local authors, magazines (Caribou, Beside, Corsé), one or two bottles of Quebec gin (always !) and coffee for the sweet little mornings by the fire. The ritual of preparing to get to the chalet makes me feel good, almost as much as the moments of relaxation and contemplation that await me at the end of the road.

Between the two confinements, I asked my friend if it was possible to get to his chalet for a few days. “How long and on what dates?” He asked, to which I replied “any time and no matter how long, but soon I need to get away.” This describes my inner state of the past few months, me that confinement has, among other things, forced to cancel the short and longer trips constituting an important part of my professional and personal life. I, like everyone, see my normal life put on a very long break.

When I get to the chalet, even before I open the door and the shutters, I seem to be breathing easier. Because here, the air seems cooler to me than elsewhere. The sight of the forest all around calms the anxieties of the last few months suddenly and the lake, even frozen, motionless on the surface, plunges me into a state of contemplation that makes me feel good. Like me, he seems quiet on the surface, but waltzes on the inside. I have always found that nature carries the most beautiful metaphors for life.

I open the door and get, like every time, this feeling that the place is waiting for me. It is my arrival that breaks up time and things. I, who bring life to this place of inner calm to which I aspire. We are bringing a lot to each other already, it seems to me.

The chalet is one of the few places where I am not afraid of the silence. Of course, I put on music that I love when I cook there, but when I read, think, sleep on the sofa or write, I prefer silence. A silence that soothes me by leaving all the room for small ambient noises: the birds singing in the distance or very close, the flowing river, the rain, the wind or the snow which falls gently or harder on me (accentuating my sense of comfort and security) and the fire that crackles and hypnotizes me gently, perfectly.

At the chalet, even on my own, I’m no longer alone. I am privileged. With one or more friends (normally, in life before and in the very near future), I am the most fulfilled girl in town who needs nature to balance her life.

I’m not very far, barely a few hours by car from home, yet I feel like I’m traveling. I am traveling in a forest that could well be Estonian or Czech, in a setting that reminds me of some of my most beautiful journeys. I am on a journey inside myself above all, far from the whirlwind of uncertainties of this pandemic.

In these uncertain times, more than ever, I need those moments of rejuvenation spent at the chalet, these getaways, the benefits of which are in no way proportional to the length of the stays. A few nights here are enough to recharge my batteries, to change my state of mind.

At the chalet, I sleep better, I nap with impunity, I escape reading and writing a lot. Calm inspires and calms me.

I will also be playing outside, walking, running and cycling in the summer. I breathe deeply, I walk with an empty head and a happy, loaded, full heart.

I take the time to cook like never before. Time, here, no longer has the same value, no longer slips through my fingers, but it is not suspended either. Time at the chalet finally resumes its normal rhythm, its meaning. This is also the case for my life and the life around it, as if it regained its rights and its ease at the turn of a walk in the forest. As if “everything was as before”, at least which was beautiful and soft and soothing. What unites us with nature and real things.

Then I close the shutters, leaving everything in the chalet as in my head, in me.

As I put the key in the lock for the last time, I thank this place for welcoming me as you welcome an old friend: with warmth, openness, simplicity and gentleness. And I promise to go back to a chalet whenever I need a little boost of sweetness and energy, the benefits of a new and momentary daily life in the heart of nature and a dive into the depths of this which makes me deeply happy.

My little bundle on my shoulder, I head back to the city that I love with such a strong love, but different. My heart not split in two, but ready to open, twice rather than once.

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