"Doesn't it get old, walking the same route each time?" I was asked. The reply is simple -- "No. Because it is never really ever the same. Even the skies change." There is an ever-changing "sameness" in "same."
Each spring when I drive into the the area where our cottage is located for the first time, I usually note how much is the same -- along with a few big differences, like the shock of seeing the "big house" that popped up over the winter. But life and nature are not static and perhaps nowhere is this more evident than when walking on a road that is a mix of cottages and woods, wildflowers and weeds.
Obviously, the changing seasons make for the greatest differences -- when the hardwoods begin to shed their green for a palette of red, orange and gold, one cannot deny the change. This is my walking road in the summer, with its trees reaching high into the sky and arching over the road to provide a respite of shade on the warmest day.
But three months from now it will look like this.
But the change of seasons is so obvious. We don't have to wait for the first autumn leaf or winter snowflake. There is change in each and every day.
When I started this summer's walks, the area was waking up. Down the road, the site of a new house was nothing but stacks of boards. But with each passing day or week, the frame went up, and then, most recently, a roof.
"Certainly," you say. "But that takes a week or two or three. What about every day?"
Ah, the small changes. What was once several carefully placed starter plants in a window box can seem to quickly fill out into lush arrangements of overflowing petunias, impatiens and geraniums. Sparsely planted urns now overflow with blooms.
And gardens seem to reveal new blooms every day.
The roadside weeds and wildflowers appear on their own schedule. One day, nothing. The next, the arrival of the Queen Anne's Lace. Soon we will be seeing the jewel weed and the other wild spots of color.
These ferns are bright green now, and plentiful. Soon the edges will curl and they will lose their color, becoming a neutral brown.
The people at the Williams cottage have had a busy week, and no doubt company. My earlier walk revealed a tent in the backyard. A few days later, there are six trash cans at the curb awaiting pick-up. They usually have two at the most.
The flowers at Phil and Laura' cottage have popped, welcoming them to their northern home. And, for the first time this season, I saw Phil's truck. A new arrival!
And down the road, the friendly "hello" to a stranger launches a long chat about the history of Wah Wah Soo, this area on the lake where my mom and her sisters spent their summers from the 1920s on, and how it has changed, while many of the families have remained the same, if generations apart."The DaVinci Code" is missing from the Little Free Library, no doubt discovered by a someone looking for a good beach read. And on the public bathing beach at the end of the road, someone is sunbathing on the sand. Perhaps she is reading Dan Brown's novel.
Meanwhile, on the lake at the beach, a family enjoys the water on a warm day.
I see surprisingly few birds on my walks. So the mesmerizing circular flight of what I'm guessing is a hawk deserves a moment to stop and stare.
So, too, does the first sighting of one of my favorites, the red-winged blackbird.
And the next day I notice something new -- a tree that has clearly been a favorite among area woodpeckers.
On any given day I might chat with Ian about his Japanese garden or pass by this lovely hosta garden, which seems to have avoided becoming dinner for area deer or rabbits!
And then you see something that makes you stop in your tracks.
I probably will not see this on the next walk.
But I will see something else. Or meet someone new. And while my feet and back may tire by the time I return home, but I will not have been bored.
I treasure "same." It provides continuity. Security. But oh, what joys appear when we see or experience something new. Some things are never the same. And that can be a good thing.