What makes sense to me now…
the coming of the morning * the hunger of birds * the pleasure of observation * the turning of the seasons * the alertness of animals * the sleeping landscape * the concept of rest * the promise of trees * the warmth of the sun * the scent of rain * the gift of animals * the presence of bedrock * the fertile earth * the promise of seeds * the abundance of nature * the wheel of the year * the return of the sun * the necessity of night * the need to create * the gift of compassion * the sacred nature of the everyday * the warmth of friendship * the essential nature of whimsy * the presence of The Other * the gift of synchronicity * the importance of balance * the nourishment of imagination * the importance of listening * the need for mystery and unknowing * the ubiquitous nature of magic * the consequences of our actions * the value of trust * the necessity of forgiveness * the profound and mysterious gift of love
Entering a different stage of life…or finding my way into it, exploring as I go…is at once deeply satisfying, challenging, and slightly dangerous. I’ve been comfortable with my entrance into cronehood for some time now, or if not quite comfortable then ready, appreciative, curious. What next? Which path will I take? What deepening inner landscape calls? My spirit hungers for this; it nourishes my soul. I appreciate patina, experience, wabi-sabi, and even–dare I say it?–a bit of wisdom gained.
Constructing a dream…
Because of the things that make sense to me … and have, most of my life … some 30+ years ago I found myself at last able to build a small cabin in the woods not far from my home. I was at the height of my career as a writer, artist and naturalist, desperate for a place to work that was both conducive and inspiring. I needed quiet, I needed space, I needed beauty and nature…and at that busy, exhausting, halcyon time, everything fell unexpectedly together as if by magic. I was writing books for North Light/F&W Publications and natural history books at the same time – and a television script, as well! – and to my great surprise, I was suddenly able to buy the beautiful wild forest, a pond, a small creek and a walnut grove, and lay the foundations for my lifelong dream.
I found a young carpenter/builder willing to take me on as apprentice, and together we spent the next several months constructing a dream – a 14 x 16-foot cabin in the woods. And, typically, I wrote a book about the process, just recently reissued from Echo Point Books and Media – A Naturalist’s Cabin, Constructing a Dream. In the 30+ years since, the cabin has seen its ups and downs – friends, celebrations, tears, falling trees, vandals, deaths, marriages, creativity, repairs, the ravages of age and weather … and like me, it’s developed a great deal of patina.
May your dreams come true as well…all it takes, sometimes, is an enormous amount of work, luck, and stubbornness.