My happy place by the sea, I call it serenity acre, my daughter Mary's suggestion. I wanted to name it and it had to be related to my husband somehow as he built it with my dad and brother-in-law in early 2000. When I first met Terry in Fort St. John, BC he was working there with a mutual friend, which is how I met him. In the first winter we were together he took me up to the interior of the province to see his place. It was a few miles on the outskirts of Wells Gray National Park. It had acreage, two log cabins and a creek. It was called Serenity Acres, marked by a big beautiful colored sign. I wonder if the sign is still there? God I loved that place. We married there. So this place pays homage to our first home. The rocks in this picture that are white is where some of his ashes are spread and where he laid in the sun hiding from people when he was at camp. He built up all those stones there so the bank wouldn't erode away. Originally this place was built for ours and my two sisters kids, as a overflow bunkie. Last year I asked my sibs if I could buy them out and make it mine. They said yes.
This place means a lot to me, it's not just a cottage by the sea, my little acre of serenity, rather it's something to look forward to. It is a purpose and a reason to move forward in life. I see my kids and my grandchildren in it after I am long gone. I am fixing it up with help from family, this teaches me to accept help graciously and gratefully. It gives me a place of my own on the earth, where I can continue to go to until I die. I have been coming to this property since I was in my mother's womb, so talk about the circle of life. The hammock is mine, a gift on my 40th birthday from Terry. The part of the cottage in the picture is the back, it faces Liscombe Harbour. The moon sets in the water in front of here. There is a stiff breeze most afternoons whipping up the whitecaps, the trees sway to and fro with a beautiful sound like the ocean, some days you can't tell which is which. In the morning the sun shines there and the water is usually flat calm. Perfect for sitting on the deck, that will be built on both sides of it this summer, to drink my morning java and contemplate how lucky I am. And I feel that way here. I felt blessed and happy and privileged and I am. I know that. This is big, really big, I need to feel this.
Inside the cottage I am commissioning my cousin's wife to do a large stained glass window, it will sit in the wall separating the bedroom with the living area where the three windows are. The scene in glass will be the rocks on the shore below the cottage and what we call Terry's feather, a spit of land with trees across the harbour shaped like a feather on its side, I never noticed it before, not before Terry died. In the glass in one of the pictorial glass rocks will be embedded the last of my husband's ashes. I picture waking up to sun streaming in this colored scene at the foot of the bed. A piece of him shining on me wishing me good morning. Some may think this weird or morbid or ghastly, that's fine, just don't tell me.
It's all coming together, my kids working away on it, cousins pitching in, community - feeling that love, I need that too. To feel a part of something alive and good and special and for me, me and my loved ones.