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I am sitting here pondering how wonderful my life is.  It is a nice day – calm, peaceful, relaxing, comfortable.  The same can be said for my whole life.  I strive to exist surrounded in positive thoughts and positive settings.  There are so many beautiful ways that I can describe what I experience.  It will be easy to define by using my five senses.  Sight, Hearing, Taste, Smelling, and Touch.

Within my sight, the most dominant picture is that of the lake.  It includes many specific things; water, waves, sailboats, motorboats, ducks, seagulls.  Surrounding the water are the mountains.  They include the trees, the railroad track, the stone ledges, a small waterfall, and birds flying and landing in the branches or on the water.  Close at hand is our yard.  The fireplace, a pile of firewood, an octagon shaped picnic table and some Adirondack type chairs are most prominent.  Pinecones, small twigs, and some mushrooms now and then fill the small areas of this view.  Gray squirrels, red squirrels, chipmunks, mourning doves, woodpeckers, nuthatches, a few crows alight around the two feeders filled with seed.  I notice my neighbor’s cottages that line the shoreline.   The sky presents different scenarios, depending on the weather.  Blue sky, white clouds, gray skies, orange, purple, pink sunsets, or rain clouds just to name a few.  Sometimes we see flying or gliding buzzards floating on the trade winds high above our heads.  Our cottage is decorated with many small knick knacks that represent the ambiance of being in the woods, of being in the mountains, of being on the lake.  They bring small bursts of joy when I look at them.  The little porcupine, a deer with regal horns, a stuffed loon, a metal moose, a canoe with a humorous moose and two bears, and the metal representation of Champ that one of my café customers made line the window sills in the front room.

By listening and hearing my surroundings, I distinguish the sounds of birds chirping.  I hear the click-click-click of the chipmunks call.  I hear the high pitch of a locus when the weather is going to be warm. I hear sails fluttering on the sailboats under the power of the wind.  I hear small motors churning to power fishing boats.  I hear the roar of the cigarette boats as they leave the local marina after gathering with their friends.  I sometimes hear the paddles swooshing from people kayaking or canoeing through the waters.  I sometimes winch at the sound of the buzz-buzz-buzz of the jet ski type craft.  If I listen carefully, I can witness the beautiful, yet erie cry of a nearby loon.  The squeal of the seagull.  The gentle quacking of a mother duck instructing her ducklings in the direction of their travel.  When there is a gathering of cormorants or gulls, you can hear the flutter of their wings and the dancing of their webbed feet as they skip across the water while taking to flight.  When the wind is stronger, you will hear the lapping of the waves crashing against all the rocks that line our property.  Larger watercraft can also send rippling waves to pound our shore.  I hear frogs croaking in the marshes across the road.  I hear crickets when darkness falls.  We also experienced a new sound this season, a loud “thump” as the train ran over the pennies we placed on the railroad track.  We now have smooth flat souvenirs from our walk in town.

Taste is the sense that is not as strong as the other senses when describing my surroundings.  Among the tastes that I can describe, salty is probably the most common one.  The water in the lake is not salt water.  However, my presence here is usually during the summer months.  This time of year is sometimes accompanied by warm weather.  So sweat produces that salty taste.  And if I work in the yard – planting flowers or vegetables, picking up firewood, raking leaves – it is also one of those times where I might sweat.  Grilled hot dogs and hamburgers are often on our summer menu.  The taste from the grill just adds a special flavor.

Now I want to talk about the sense of smell.  Here is where there are several items that provide different aromas.  The pine trees emit a wonderful perfume.  It is such a definition of being in the woods, in the mountains, in the Adirondacks.  The lake water emits a certain aroma, sometimes with a faint smell of fishiness.  Another favorite aroma for me is the smell of a wood burning campfire.  The essence that is emitted from some of those furry friends, for instance a skunk, can become a very pungent aroma, overriding all of the other beautiful scents.

Touch is the last sense to mention, although certainly not the least.  This year in particular, I have experienced the gooey, sticky touch of sap.  There is such a prolific amount of pinecones this year.  I have touched the wood of our picnic table this year, as we sanded, stained and protected it as one of our projects.  The feel of the rocks provided the harsher, cooler, heavier feeling on my hands.  The touch of berries as I picked them from the garden provided a soft, squishy happiness of being able to eat from nature’s sweet bounty.  I enjoyed finding feathers in the yard, and feeling their softness.  Even the feeling of warm soapy water as I washed a plethora of dishes this season, provided me with the blessings of being well fed.  And a strange awareness of the feel of my paddle when kayaking, or the handles on my bike, gave me the feeling of power and strength.

I believe I am also blessed to have another sense, a sixth sense – Feelings – Intuition.  I am not sure that everyone agrees with my interpretation.  I am not sure; in fact, if I do have this sixth sense, am I among the few that possess it.  If everyone has this sense, maybe they have not recognized, nurtured, or accepted it.  That said – I will now explain what it means to me.  I know that I have two distinct physical places to live.  Both places – the cottage on the lake and the house in Florida – offer very different surroundings.  I could write about all the different experiences of sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch in Florida, and they would be somewhat different than what I have written here.  However, I believe that the feelings that I have are very similar no matter in which home I am.  I have a perception or an awareness that I am where I am meant to be.  I feel so very comfortable.  I feel like I live with and in nature; a natural setting.  I feel that the spirits are very close.  I feel the angels around me.  I love having so much privacy.  I enjoy seeing the animals.  I enjoy the trees, shrubs, flowers.  Both homes provide the sound of the railroad.  Both homes feel like a feathery nest of security.  As an additional bonus, I am sharing all of this with a man that I love.  I sense that he witnesses all that I have written about here.  We are very much on the same page.  I have thought quite a bit about what might be missing in my life.  I have not come up with anything.  I could write a whole other story about my desires, wants and needs that are provided by a person, versus my environment.  This story is about my life as it pertains to my surroundings.  I cannot see myself being housed in a cement multi-stored structure in the close proximity of a city.  I cannot envision myself living within feet of another home.  Of course, I “could” do that.  I am just stating that by doing that, it would take away some of the natural comfort I feel in my current life.  At this very moment, I am a very happy person that feels surrounded by positive elements.