Saturday, May 7, 2011

A cabin of one's own

The walls may just be camo and tan tarps, the desk may be jury-rigged from a flooring scrap of oriented strand board, and I may not be able to see out of my "window" (because of the tarp), but I've got my laptop, my mocha, and a pot of purple and white pansies to help me christen my writing cabin.

Very early this morning, around 3 AM, I woke up, and despite the 38 degrees, I had to go out into the woods to pee. The stars were magnificent, and I was reminded why I want to be up here so badly–I can rarely see any but the very brightest stars anymore where we "live."

Just now a hummingbird flew in through the open door and just as quickly left. Early this morning, along with the owls and woodpeckers, we heard something different, and when my son got up, he discovered it was a spruce grouse, drumming it's call just outside the cabin. Right now the woods are filled with birdsong, and I can hear the water rushing over the waterfall down the hill.

This morning I wandered, found a blooming trillium, such a simple flower, yet one I've always loved, and there I was crouching on the ground trying to take a decent photograph of it (it's kind of blurry). It's still very early Spring here, no leaves on the trees yet, fiddleheads still unfurled, the landscape still mostly brown and gray. But the sun is warm on this south-facing slope, and a gentle breeze is crinkling the tarp walls.

I'm more relaxed right now than I've been in months. When I took my walk this morning, instead of flat pavement with SUVs whizzing by me and garbage in the gutter to look at, I hiked downhill, ducking under branches and stepping over logs to get to a small stream, where I took pictures of the water flowing over stone. Then I scrambled along it's bank till I came to a marshy area where I peered at the sparkling mica in the water before heading back uphill, over an old stone wall, to return to our picnic table. It was a much shorter walk than I normally take, but much better exercise and much more enjoyable.

This place feels more like home to me now than my suburban "home" where I've lived for the past eighteen-plus years. I want to be up here permanently. While I know I'll miss my friends, I hope they will come visit this beautiful place, and I know I will make new ones. In fact later today we're stopping in to visit neighbors up the road that have become friends, to say hi and get reacquainted after being away for six months.

Because it's been six months since I was up here last! When I realized that last night, as I lay in the sleeping bag, looking up at the ceiling of my cabin, with it's old barn timbers and silly, but oddly appropriate Mossy Oak camo panels, I felt a combination of grief–for being away so long–and rejoicing for being "home."

This is not a working trip. I'd just wanted to come up here for Mother's Day, to be in this place. There is much work to be done this year if my cabin is to be completed before winter. There are logs for the cordwood walls needing to be cut. I've been saving and collecting bottles for a couple of years to make bottle windows and those have to be made. I have to build window frames for the old windows we bought last year, and I want to build the door myself. Then there's the laying of the cordwood with mortar to form the walls. Stones need to be collected to use in the wall that will face the little pot-bellied stove I have already. The roof needs to be insulated and then have the final roofing put on (right now it's just tarpaper). Under the floor needs to be insulated too, and flooring laid down. Hopefully we can use old barn wood for that. A porch and stairs needs to be built. And I want to build some rustic furniture for the cabin.

When I write it all out, that's a lot of work. I will have to spend long stretches up here this year if that's going to get done. Some friends have said they'd like to come up here and help, and that would be nice. It will be good to sit here writing and look at the walls and know that friends helped and left some of their energy here. I'm not coming up here to run away. Though I have to admit that it's nice to be away from the hassles of what's come to be daily life.

This is my "room of one's own." Already, even with just tarps for walls and oriented strand board sheeting for a desk. I feel happy and at peace. I feel sheltered here. It is home.


Jo said...

It sounds beautiful, Robin.

Craig Sorensen said...

This was beautifully written, Robin. I sense the place, and your sensations being there. I'm a mountain man at heart, and I can relate to how going there, being there, makes you feel.


Kam said...

Yeah, I definitely need to come back & visit: and I'd really like to help build stuff, even if only for a few days.

Erobintica said...

Thanks friends! I added pictures. :)

Emerald said...

What a beautiful exposition. It felt relaxing to me just reading about it, and I'm so glad you have this beautiful place to feel at home. Somehow even your description of the work to be done on it seemed aligned and peaceful.

Thank you for sharing—and beautiful pictures.

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh wow - this looks wonderful! I am so envious (in the happiest way) of you for having your cabin in the woods. (Where you can go out at night and pee, hee hee!)

Erobintica said...

Thanks Em & Janine! (now that Blogger is working again I could come back and thank you. I'm glad I didn't lose any comments.