This is the time of year when I always seem to struggle to overcome a lack of momentum. It feels like winter is a hole I stumble into each year. Not enough gets done, or the wrong stuff gets done, or I can’t seem to tell the difference. Often the days just don’t feel productive. It’s not that I’m inactive, it’s just that most days I end up doing something besides the job I got out of bed to tackle.
It’s a rainy day and I’m breaking my rule and working in the shop and at my desk. “If you work Sunday’s then Mondays just another damn day”. That’s the rule, but, Saturday was beautiful, cool and sunny so I spent the day working in the garden and bike riding. When you work for yourself you have the option of sometimes flipping the days around to fit the weather.
Spring is a bit slow coming in this year, but the longer days do make it easier to spend more time working in the shop and they offer some daylight time outside at the end of the day. Sunshine, it’s good stuff this time of year. Yesterday it was in the 50’s but today we’re back to cold, wind and morning rain. Come to think of it, this is spring.
It was well below zero this morning when I got up. In the shop, despite the best efforts of my heater it was right at 38 degrees. The fire’s roaring in the stove now and I’ll bet by 9 it’s toasty out there. What a wonderful mix of bright or snowy, always frosty days we’re enjoying. I like the feel of 2015 already. The summer teaching season is shaping up nicely with eleven classes lined up and several more in the works. Shop work is booked for the winter as well. I’ve finished the batch of designs I was working on and replaced them with several new projects. I don’t think I ever really want to get caught up though. Shop projects start in the evenings with a glass of port, a warm fire and time at the drawing board.
These last few months I’ve moved way out of my comfort zone on several fronts. It’s good to stretch, to push the boundaries of what you know and what you’re good at. If you build on a solid skill set it’s a good way to grow and learn.
This time of year I feel like I’m pulled in a dozen different directions each day. I pick the task that most needs to be attended to and have at it. I know, it’s like that for everyone and I’d like to think most of us enjoy the work we turn our hands to. I do, but sometimes, well there’s a lot that needs doing.
A few nights ago, when such a deep and early darkness seemed to have fallen outside, I felt with some certainty that we’re in for a short fall and a long and cold winter. If so, I look forward to warm fires, moonlight on snow and bracing days. My premonition it turns out was slightly ahead of the season. Last Sunday it was in the 80’s with just the first hint of red in the maples along the river. A magnificent day to paddle on the Salmon, a brackish river not far from home.
This seems to have been the summer of light – moonlight, starlight, golden evening light, and the pale warming light of dawn. I’ve basked in the steady light of midday as well as the defused light that sometimes shines through gray storms. I’ve admired the light shinning through thick green forests and reflecting off of quite waters. From shore, and less wisely, from the thwart of a boat, I’ve seen storm light dancing on tossed seas. I’ve marveled at the quality of light laying across summer fields or slipping at dawn through open bedroom windows. I’ve seen light reflecting off Osprey in flight, mountain ridges, rockbound coasts, and the faces of friends. I’ve seen light shinning from the faces of friends. I’ve seen light shining through the dust in the air of half a dozen different shops and the mist on as many island mornings. I’ve felt the warmth of light on my bare feet and the warmth of light held in stone, both appreciated in the cool of the evening or at the dawn of the day. This summer the earth and the heavens seem to be infused with the gift of light.
These past few weeks I’ve been churning through the projects. I’ve delivered a corner cabinet for a client and I’m close to starting the finish work on a Fox I’m finishing for a customer. Mattie, the Oughtred skiff I’ve been working on for the past several winters has enjoyed some attention and is at the paint and varnish stage. Looking at my schedule for the summer it seems prudent to try and have most of my kits ready for class by early June, so I’ve been making kit parts and scarfing planks when I have a spare moment.
Spring is taking it’s own sweet time to get here this year. It’d be hard to describe the world outside right now with out using the words brown, gray or soggy. Still, spring does come each and every year and I’m sure this year will be no exception.