Saturday, July 3, 2010

Life, The Universe and Everything

It never ceases to surprise me how even the best of intentions are forgotten when life becomes hectic. In the last two months I have found and started a new (though temporary) job, undergone three different certifications, taken a university online course, moved to a different city 200km away and done what feels like a million other things. Neadless to say, a blog has been left by the wayside in all the mess.

But enough about me. I am going to diverge for a post, and I hope you'll forgive me for it. But this land I see from outside my office window is too great a thing not to write about. And indeed, I have been writing! (An aside: very little of it has to do with this place, but it's still counts!)

Muskoka is a land time once forgot. For nearly a century very little seemed to change up here. At least at a glance. Oh, many things did change, in actuality, but change came so slowly that no one ever really noticed. There were practical changes like paved roads, electricity, electrical stoves, power boats, etc. But they were just things added up for a hundred years. They didn't change this place.

In the last decade change has come like a sledgehammer beating against your head everywhere you look in every second of your day. Now there is a TV and DVD and satellite where once only a black and white screen with an antenna stood. Now the wireless carries down to the dock for lazy afternoons, instead of a book. Now the cell phone is as easy as the landline. Now when the power goes off the generator kicks in and nothing really changes. Life has become easier, I suppose, but not in a good way.

I remember this land before the people came. I say that like it is some grand declaration a century in the making. It's not. I was born in 1983, but I remember this land before the city arrived. When I was a little girl the cottage was almost no different from what it had been when my mother was little (a 35 year generation difference). In fact, very little had changed since my grandmother had been a child. It was still a place to come in the summer to escape the noise and heat of Toronto, to relax and unwined, to see the family and make new friends. It was the cottage. I remember it, before the people came.

By people I mean the yuppies from the city who, instead of 'coming' just packed up Toronto in the SUV and brought it north with them. With their loud boats and fast cars and drinking parties. They never got that the point of this place was to be different. They wanted everything. And now they have it. Toronto in Muskoka. With the high end grocery stores and the NYC shops and the race to see who can build a bigger boathouse. This place was once the summer retreat for the blessed.

You know what it is now? Disneyland for the rich.