My husband Andre was born on the island of Malta, that tiny speck in the sea so strategically placed that cultures fought for it, so magical it was said to feature in Homer’s Odyssey and provide St. Paul a port in a storm. Yet, when he was still a young boy, Andre’s mother ran to the edge of the known world and jumped off. With her loved ones tucked under wing and faith as her guide she headed for Canada the new world of cold climes and warm hearted people that became her family home. Andre grew up Canadian, loving hockey and Ontario’s near north with equal verve and participation; shared interests that brought and bind us together. As newlyweds we dreamt of someday owning a cottage and saved and stored to keep our dream alive. It took us many years, but we found our small piece of property on the shore of Lake of Bays just outside the village of Dorset. Walking down its slope we were charmed by the sight of a tree newly felled by beavers, its sharpened pencil shape outstanding in a sunny glen. Each visit brought new indication of these prior inhabitants amazing us once more with the evidence of their strength and industry. And so was born Beaver Fell, named for the felled trees and the geography of our rock strewn hill. Dorset is the most welcoming of homes. Traverse our cottage lanes, our rural highways; here family names and cottage monikers usurp the number signs. You’ll find no bastions of race or creed, no monopolies of man. There is only the forest, which generations have tried to quell but never conquered. We’ve learned now to cherish it, standing as art throughout the seasons of our cottage windows. My family home, it is home too for the animals and plants and even the lake itself. We’ve discovered the beavers’ dam running across the creek at the tip of our small bay. If you go to find it, tread carefully; don’t disturb its residents, for they are our neighbours too.