By Anita Manley
Last weekend, we were so honoured and privileged to be invited to our friends’ “Guest Cottage” near Renfrew, ON, along the Ottawa River.
Not only were we invited, but we received red carpet treatment the entire time we were there. Activities were planned, spa music was playing in the background, excellent meals were prepared and served, there was a hot tub and big screen TV outside so we could enjoy both at the same time. We went on a group kayak, did aerobic drumming and even danced in the rain!! Janet and Joe even treated everyone in the resort to a pizza party! Quite simply, the 4 days away was completely FABULOUS and it felt as though we had been away for two weeks!
It is so important for everyone to escape for a bit of a vacation, every now and again. Ron and I do not have the means to spend on hotels, transportation, etc. for a holiday, but these friends of ours did and were happy to have us stay at their “Guest Cottage”. We had the place to ourselves, complete with a kitchen, air conditioning, heating and a fireplace for those cool evenings. They even provided cozy jackets and blankets that we were able to wear around the firepit without worrying about spark damage from the fire.
There were so many mental health benefits of being out in nature, listening to the birds, the crackling of the fire, seeing nature’s beatuy all around us. I personally really enjoyed the long group kayak that we all went on Saturday morning. There is something very calming about being on the water, engaged in converstion with friends.
I recently read a post that said:
“We are not all in the same boat.
We are in the same storm.
Some have yachts, some canoes,
and some are drowning.
Just be kind and help whoever you can.” – Damian Barr
This quote epitomizes our friends, Janet and Joe. Due to much hard work, risk and determination they have been very fortunate to reap the financial rewards. They also are very willing to be kind and generous to their friends, who may not be as well off.
I know that their kindness and generosity lifted our spirits immensely, and we feel bouyed to carry on in this ongoing storm, feeling less weight upon our shoulders, all due to the kindness of others.
Of course, it’s not necessary to do such grand gestures as Janet and Joe. For example, I recently gave a Starbucks gift card to a busker, who was extremely grateful for this random act of kindness. Also, it could be as simple as letting someone go in front of you in line, or opening a door for a stranger. I think if we all set out a clear intention to be kind to others, we will find many small ways to do exactly that.
“Just be kind, and help whoever you can.” It will not go unnoticed and may actually change a person’s outlook on life, or at least bring a smile to their face.