Sunday, August 15, 2010

beginning again

The place is beginning a metamorphosis. Too long it sat, uninhabited, unloved, unkept. In the deep woods the slow decay of time had begun to take hold and bring the little cabin back to the place we all return to in the end. Thankfully it was not to be just yet. Mike has begun work that will bring it back to life.
The cabin will be his now. After a rough time he found himself in need of a place to find himself again and this is it. It feels right. The woods were beaten back and the door opened and all the old mess and cat shit and other various critters expelled (mostly, they are a tenacious lot) and he has begun to reinvigorate it again.
How it came to this? Ah. How to tell that tale? In the end it can be summed up as a time in which I chased dreams I did not have over rainbows that had no color.

We reached a place at which we had to choose. The cabin was poorly designed for a family of four. My lack of attention to proper details combined with my general and chronic lack of money to work with had created a monster that needed to be partially tore apart in order to be brought back to where it ought to be. One can hardly tear it apart when one is living in it so we lingered on in the mess. In time, my wife had had enough and I was not far behind her so we went out and found a little house in a nearby town and bought it. I replaced all the windows (tore them completely out and reframed them, to be exact), rewired the whole place, replumbed it with PEX, added another full bath and a whole mess of other odd improvements. In the end we invested an additional thirty thousand dollars in materials into the house and, thanks to the housing market plunging into the nether regions, it appraised for exactly what we had in it. For two years, I worked and sweated and cursed for free. At least we are not upside down though. Should be able to walk away with another six bucks or so. I am not happy with this trend…
This is where I now find myself. My wife is interested in going to school again. We cannot possibly hope to afford it while keeping this house so we are now looking at returning to the land. I have begun the process of designing a 20’ X 25’ little cabin with three bedrooms and a wrap around porch on three sides that will house us until we both die or go crazy. It will be situated on the front three acres of the land with the old cabin and Mike residing on the back three. I must say, I cannot imagine a better neighbor.
This move will bring me back to where I wanted to be all along. I have desperately missed the deep silence of the woods. The ravines and moss, the close comfort of the old white oak trees. It has been too long since I reached my hand and felt the rough texture of an old Oak tree and sensed the vitality, the strength, the age and reckless wisdom of the forest.
Mike and I watched last weekend as a strange black wasp with yellow antennae dragged a spider four times its size across the forest floor. It soon engaged in a battle with another and they fought ferociously for a good seven or eight minutes. I miss this. I miss the bats swooping low as I stand in the lane, the beat of their wings a pulse in my ears. I miss looking to the sky and seeing a flight of graceful, soaring birds twisting and twirling in delicate spirals from the heavens. They were vultures. Until that moment I never imagined vultures could be so majestic. But they can…
At ten or twelve years old I walked in the woods near my home and penned these words.
“I spoke to the trees of my troubles.
They understood.
They said nothing, but they understood.”
A simple verse that spoke to my feeling of connection, of symbiosis with the forest. I will come back. Once again, I will dwell silently beneath the trees.

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