Whenever I transplant myself to new grounds, there is always a period of toe-stepping tenderly, of breaking in the land, forming new habits and reaching a level of comfort with place. It is as if I am traveling on a bed of ancient mosses, none of which I want to damage or harm; knowing how long and hard they have worked to make it this far in life, but inevitably trampling a few on the journey to discovery. I figure-eight myself through knowing and not. Learning the subtle movements of weather, shifts in winds, calls of birds, habits of creatures, and the ever waxing and waning of light over land. I am a creature of daylight. Syncing myself with the evolution of day. Sun-up calls my name as I quietly slip my fox and beaver fur slippers on my cool morning feet. I dress in the dark, so not to wake Patrick, as he is less a creature of the sun than I. I cautiously climb the narrow and rickety ladder down to the heat of my creatures. They eagerly greet me at the base of the stairs. Ryley putting paws on the second stair, so I can kiss her pink nose before even stepping foot on solid ground. These dogs and I, we have a pretty legit routine. I feel my grounding root deeper, knowing some things will always stay the same. The morning continues on as usual; make coffee, check emails, do a quick clean of putting dishes away, sweeping the floors and making a plan of how the day will unfurl. I prefer to run in the mornings, as it surges my body with all the mixings of the fresh evening air and the newness of a dawn day. Mountain sage, frosted leaves, warm beds and lots of bright eyes as we travel the hillsides in search of that euphoric feeling brought from stride over earth. I love to run…maybe live to run. I am by no means a competitive athlete when it comes to running, but for me, the act of running deepens my sense of self. It allows me to push boundaries, explore intimately and be free with the rhythm of it all. It seems so pure and human-powered. So simple and so primal. So easy and very cathartic. We have connected and linked miles upon miles of rough cut cow trails directly behind the house, to form an interconnected network of zany routes. All of it is mine to explore. Mine to connect with. Mine to widen and bank and curve and wind with. It feels so selfishly good, to know the chance of seeing another soul is as likely as sitting next to a grizzly bear at the breakfast cafe….well, you get the point, anyway. 🙂
This, all being the easy part of the day. I have finally had three good days in the shop. Three uninterrupted, long, hard, solid days of work. My hands feel alive with the reverberations of hammers and hum of machines again. My brain is purging idea after idea into likely sketches. This cycle of work and rest, of moving and settling, of knowing and not…has finally tipped a balanced in my favor. An ease to this part of the day now, as well.
Then the sun reaches the crest, makes that dip westward towards horizon once again, and this is when the un-ease crawls out of its’ dark cage. Do I know this place well enough? Do I feel comfortable exploring such an intimate place as a true outsider. They will know. All of them…I do not belong here. This place is not my home, I am just a visitor in this vast, wild and harsh landscape. I swallow my fears of the unknown and my embarrassment of ignorance, and know we all must go through this tangle of the knowing and not. I tell myself comfort comes with exploration. And, exploration deepens the hearts’ understanding of life…of cycles…of all of it. I decide knowing is better than not. That the wildness in me must grow again, and so I do what comes so naturally. I pull my boots on, wrap a warm scarf twice around, swing my camera around my shoulder, scoot the dogs out the door, and shut it quietly behind as we set out to find comfort with place. It’s beginning to feel like home , I whisper quietly to myself as we lose ourselves in the vastness of landscape and time.