Thinking back on those first explorations of the cabin property, it’s the wildlife–the turkeys and stellar jays, the chickadees and the moose–and the quiet that struck me, the calm restorative rhythm of sunrise to sunset and the constellations moving ’round the cabin like the hands of a clock. That first really cold night, when I stoked the fire but set the thermostat low so the heater wouldn’t click on and startle me from sleep, and I rose to a cold nose and my breath clouding the air and dove into clothes that chilled me until I warmed them. The tempo here slows me and my fingers grow stiff as I write, and I imagine how it must have been two centuries ago without insulation or backup heat or good, warm clothing. I think of those who came before, writing in beautiful hand with quill pen, the writing as much a work of art as the thoughts they expressed. Often, my writing resembles the prints of a headless chicken running across the page.
I hear the wind stirring now hours before dawn. Perhaps it signals a change in the weather, a cold snap maybe in time to bring snow for Christmas.
Dec. 16, 2010