In terms of construction, it’s slow but steady. Stacking big hefty logs, each one peeled and grinded, worm holes revealed, larva and young beetles removed, life and death skinned back with each pull of the blade of my drawknife, sawed and sculpted by Bob’s chainsaw, and lifted with ease by Forrest and the crane. This defines the first floor, with plenty of room for windows exposing an odd view of the changing hillside, now a silent, still wave of red trees.
Each log with a story to share, seemingly old as time, though even in the widest trunk we count back only three hundred years. Before the miners. Before the homesteaders. Before the dam, the fishermen, tourists and so-called old timers. You put it all into perspective. Counting the rings in the base of a tree now used to fashion the rising walls. It’s as if we’re creating a living museum for the trees. The big old ones. The kind my grandchildren and their children may never see live and green in these mountains.
Were they really once this big, perhaps they will ask me?
Oh yes, and bigger still.
That one we called Grandfather Tree.
Forever preserved in my home. I touch the smooth warm skin of wood and wonder. With these changing times, we learn to question: is anything really forever?
Rikki is air born!
So, this morning I’m sitting in the outhouse, door open as usual, looking down at the Rio flowing big and brown from all the wild rains we’ve been having, when suddenly… this goose flies by. Yes, my goose. Up river. Then down river. I don’t see where he lands but run down to the work site and start looking along the cliffs and calling and worrying and then… there he is, popping back up the hill side behind me.
Well, I guess he figured out how those wings work.
He looked so beautiful! Said by the adoptive mother of a Canadian Goose. Me, with my fear of heights.
Nature happens. I didn’t teach him to fly any more than I taught him to swim. I don’t do either one much, so how could I? A little boy staying in one of our guest cabins sees the goose and thinks it’s a duck, and what can I say as I thought he was a duck too when we first found the little fluff ball out on the cliff all alone? He tells me he hears they can swim. He says this with great admiration. I suppose where he comes from in Texas, and likewise for us here in the high mountains, swimming is not something you really do. Yes, I tell the little boy, he swims beautifully. And, I continue, he is learning to fly. The little boy’s eyes get wide and his mouth drops open. Really? He looks down at Rikki with tremendous awe. Flies?! He says. Part question, part astonishment. Wow, this is one impressive being… Watch, I say, and I run down the hill in front of the cabin and the goose gets air born, only a foot or so off the ground for a few paces then resumes to running (because that is what his mama has taught him to do, if one learns by example…). Just enough to leave the little boy basking in the wonderment…
Summer encroaching. Caging me in, the wild beast paces… Ready to bust free and soar…
At times it feels the more I give of me the less I have, rather than being fed by the giving and feeling more whole. There are empty places within me. Do you feel the same sometimes?
In front of me a hillside of dead standing trees. Close enough to be intimate. They are fading, their sprit song paling. There is silence where there once were stories of life, growth and timely death and a natural progression which is not what I see before me now.
The silencing of our collective soul.
Now standing before us stripped, bare, and lifeless.
An emptiness I need to fill.
I don’t get out much. Not down river. Not on the road, towards town, towards what one might call “civilization.” But yesterday found me in the truck, driving down our mountain, through the burn, and back up another rural road to another destination between a couple of tourist towns.
Each car or truck that passes by the other way, I lift my hand and wave. I should. That’s only polite. I might know these people. Or I might not. Which seems to be more the case this time of year when the vast majority of vehicles out there have out of state plates and no, I don’t know them, and probably never will. But is that any excuse to not mind my manners? Pretend I didn’t notice? Sorry, no can do.
I’m losing heart. After a dozen or so waves without a response, I wonder why I’m still lifting my hand?
The warmest mornings we had this year were 45 above. And now the heat is over. The sweltering days, all ten of them, are behind. Today, cooler air. Promise of fall. Longer shadows, shorter days. Already, I swear. Maybe I’m looking for it. Eager anticipation.
Until I look back at the log cabin we’re building and see how much we still have to do before snow fly.
Time flies, the goose flies, snow will fly. And what can I do but all I can do, or nothing at all, and wonder what drives us ever onward?
Cultivate your dreams like seeds thrown into the wind. It is your work to be certain what lays down wind is fertile ground, not hard stone, permafrost, or pavement.
4 thoughts on “Movin’ on up.”
What a neat concept – Grandfather Tree offering strength and sturdiness in a home built according to the Law of Nature. Blessings on all of you for the reverence you give to life, nature and your home.
No, Gin, I’ve not received a book. God knows why…sometimes stuff from the States comes faster than a hail stone. Then, other times, who knows what happens. Amazon never did locate the book they sent me. They gave up and sent me back my money.
I want to talk to you about trying out my course over the Internet…the one I call Operation Blind Spot. I don’t want to bother you when summer is so busy, but what do you think? Willing to be my “tester”?
XO – Amy
Wow, Amy – I’d be honored! Please count on me. I’ll make time.
Thanks Gin – I got lots of chills…. from each part of your post… the old trees, now logs, your home being built, Rikki flying (and returning), the heat, the rain, the cool air, fall in the air. I loved it! Thank you!!
Your house is a museum, a monument, a tribute to the fallen trees. Priceless!