after what must have been over a week of festivities of the season, i am taking a day in, listening to the curtains of rain fall steadily down on the bus roof, not loud torrents, but a gentle steady patter that leads to an immense feeling of coziness inside next to the fire. khurue is curled up behind the wood-stove, her favourite place when the fire has been going for awhile. after yoga and tea and unloading a run of yesterdays lumber from the truck, i lay about reading ‘my side of the mountain’ and once again jonesed for a solo hermit do-it-all-yourself life in the snowy woods. of course, this life is all one could ask for in a close-second, a way of living the chop wood/carry water lifestyle tempered with many modern conveniences. but there is that often dormant wild part of me that hungers for the extremity of a small cabin in snowy woods, where you REALLY do it all yourself. your wits get you food everyday, your accumulated knowledge keeps you warm in fire and clothing, your fortitude pays out not only in the satisfaction of knowing you are the sole reason you are still alive, but in the deep peace of silent flakes falling over a still forest, or the endless silence that unfolds over the land in the coming dark of night.
very romantic, indeed, but in the midst of all the hardship of that sort of life, it would also be true.
in this current life it has been quite the social time. lovely to have so much time off from work, not because i don’t love my job, but because with the endless time i can leave days unscheduled, and still have time to get all the needed things done. we had two outdoor hot-tubs in a row. new years eve with r&j and the kids in a beautyfull outdoor hot tub under the stars and waxing crescent moon. a dark line of fir tops silhouetted in the distance. and new years day at emilys mexican hot-tub brunch, which was the perfect temperature to just stay in and soak for hours while dusk settled around us.
a couple of my big satisfactions for the holiday were finally getting the gutter on the new roof and then plumbed into the 2500gal cistern, phew! catching rainwater for next summer! and then john and i installed the last window in the PO, and he built me a beauty of a cedar railing for the stairs. i tried out sitting in my usual spot in the PO and looking out the new window, and discovered it gives me a lovely view of trees. that’s it. no parking lot, no cars, just trees. if it snows this winter again (i hope!) and the majority of the island stays in cozy at home, i’ll while away the hours with my feet up by the fire, gazing out at the trees and listening to the silence of the snowy world around me.
it’s now some weeks later and this post has been delayed, but there’s an addendum…
it occurred to me recently – as john once again reiterated that i should build a smaller house, and then again when i was speaking with carrie and stated “she is living my dream life” in regards to kate harris and her tiny snowy cabin in atlin* – that one can have many dream lives. carrie told me that that i’m living my dream life, which is true, and for which i am so grateful, and try to remember this every day, but it doesn’t mean i don’t also want that tiny cabin in the snowed-in woods. or the solo summers up high in a fire-watch tower on a remote mountain. or endless summers spent canoeing arctic rivers. or year-long voyages in indonesia or the philippines or mongolia. or bike trips through iceland or the canol trail. even if i want those things, i still want my three-tiered house here in the rainy coastal woods a top a rocky bluff, with family and community strong and true. i can only hope to be graced with a long life, continued agility and presence of mind to live out all of these dream lives.
today i am getting at least a wee appetizer… the snow has arrived and the world is white around me. the temperature hovering around -3 celsius, i am inside with barry lopez and joanna streetly and their compelling words of arctic wonder and west coast wild. the cat is curled up, the tea is copious, the firewood is dry. maybe later i will sew together the next journal, or maybe i will just while away the hours inside other peoples dream lives.
*kate harris’ book – lands of lost borders. soooo good, what a writer.