When you are born and raised in Montreal, you know the basic need we have to get out of the city and get in touch with some good old country living. Whether it’s weekend getaways or vacation-long stays up in the Laurentians, I basically grew up in two homes, our city home and our country home. Now, as the head of my own family, my children are growing up with the same love for nature and down-to-earth quality time that our country house provides. From generation to generation, the restorative power of nature’s fresh air keeps our family together as we play outdoors and snuggle up indoors.
Taking precious moments to disconnect from the city, we get into a state-of-mind that embraces the beauty and pace of nature. We sit on the dock, we cook together, we paddle board, we listen to music, we go for walks, and most importantly, we do it all together. Getting in touch with each other and sitting in the moment, our internal clocks are reset and we are able to give gratitude to the present time. I strive to teach these lessons to my children all the time, but there is something about seeing their mom living the experience that just models calm and happiness.
I love seeing my kids just jump into the lake carefree, or sit on our little beach and contemplate the sand. I love that I have the time to notice it all. I’m so grateful that I grew up with the balance of this lifestyle, my father knew how important it was to just break off from it all, and shift the priority to being with family as much as possible.
So it sounds cliché, but it’s cliché for a reason: a family that plays together, stays together. This extends past my immediate family and reaches my friends and their families. We’ve all become one huge family, and there is nothing I love more than inviting friends to come spend the weekends and just cook together, eat like crazy, laugh and play card games. I love staying up late by the fire and losing track of time because we are talking and enjoying. These are the organic moments that fill me up and deepen our friendships.
I’m more outdoorsy and athletic than I let on. Don’t let my love for high-fashion fool you, this girl can let loose and jump into a freezing lake just because! The down time can make you a bit stir crazy so you start doing things you wouldn’t normally do, and then I realize how much I love just doing whatever feels right in that moment – I think that’s another thing that clogs our minds in the day-to-day of the city life: we forget to listen to our bodies. Maybe it’s my intuition that telling me I need to be more playful, and then all of a sudden there is a lake in front of me, no matter the temperature, regardless of my makeup and hair, and there I go… diving head first because why the hell not!?
Over the summer we spend almost every weekend shuffling back and forth and the second I hear the pebbles being squeezed beneath the tires, I just feel like I’m home. The air smells fresher, the sun feels crisper, the trees look greener, and it just fills my heart with gratitude that I get to enjoy the country life with the people I love most.
Photography by Patricia Brochu