I’m not sure where the last month went? I did spend a few of the coldest days in hibernation, sitting close to the stove and pretty much doing nothing but I’ve also been out in the shop, probably not enough but I’ve been out there. I’ve also been slowly working away at office tasks. The website is getting some needed updates and both digital and paper files are undergoing a much needed sorting. And, I’ve dealt with snow. Lots of snow! Maybe that’s where the time went?
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.
The classes I have taught so far this summer have all been extraordinary for me and I believe for my students. I’ve just finished the Chewonki project and the kids, accompanied by their trip leaders, are out on an extended kayaking trip in their new Willow kayaks. I had a blast working with the group and plan on meeting them out on the water towards the end of this week for a few days of paddling.
So far the weather, the feel and the pace of the summer have been ridiculously nice. Just the right amount of rain with warm but not hot days and cool nights. The weather might change, I know the pace is about to.