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Cabin Stories 1: significant days

Day One

Rain begins, tentative, at 8:50pm.  I can feel the hush of parched trees; the lake is still, the birds silent. Thunder is over there, eclipsed by the subtle snore of a cat.  Rain stops.


There is no sound of water lapping.  This is uncharacteristic of the eastern shore, where even the gentlest of westerly breezes will make the water speak in rhythm over stones.  The twilight raccoons are quiet, the evening moths still. I can hear a hum, large as the world: insects, over the Bay.

Internet connection is gone.  That’s new.  First time in five years.

The white mycelium connecting all flora with intelligence, one inch below the forest floor.  The loons, nesting here again after a decade of absence.  They sing to the sunset.  The cat stops his hunting just then to still himself, and listens, facing the sun.

Later, myriad moths of all shapes and sizes wake, to flutter their bizarre night time dance.  It is as loud as the snore of the cat beside me.

Day two

Heavy heat, again. Everything is parched, dusty and all living things are fully engaged in gritty endurance. It’s been over a month of this, extended further by an ocean typhoon that just connected with China. On the other side of the planet.


My awareness of things is stretched by new curiosities. Hmmm.  Why the baby snail, 30 feet up on the slim tree, for weeks.  The curled baby garter snake, napping beside the path – why curled like that, just there. These become the moments I remember best, from the day.

follow the leggy grey-black spiders who populate and farm the hot shore rocks. I gaze upward at the forest canopy, the astonishing spiderwebs. I hear that birdcalls differ through the day, which has a clearly defined rhythm, in this place.  I feel compelled – hungry – to learn it. It runs deeper than my habitual rhythm, is more complex.

In the meantime I have a good list of chores, which I improve by deleting the trip into town for ice. Instead I stay put and read about the interpretation of drawings in Jungian psychology (Furth, 2002), and the Bonny Method of therapy which uses music to take clients ‘traveling’ into their own subconscious.  Juliet Hess (2018), Kari Veblen (2008, 2011, etc) , Kate Bolick (2015). 

I breathe the hot air, which is easier to do by the cool lake.  I draw a little. My broken toe is grateful for rest; a friend comes for dinner, conviviality, and a swim. Sleeps over down at the bothy, which I’m now calling ‘the shore’.


Day three

Perfect coffee on the cabin porch, to greet the morning lake.  Good conversation around and about metaphor.

Then Town for breakfast and World Cup soccer, England vs Belgium. I badly want England to win, but the young lads look tired and beaten, so sure enough, Belgium takes third place.  

Them the In-Town List pushes me trudging through more oppressive afternoon heat until finally, in late afternoon as I approach the hospital where they will x-ray my broken toe, the winds pick up, the skies darken… 

In the parking lot we are drenched to the bone in two seconds, yelling whoops of pure euphoria.  It’s good to be alive.


Day four

…begins loudly, one hour after I fall asleep.

The midnight raccoons have decided to launch an offensive, both inside and outside the house (no serious damage, but lots of noise and reckless spillage, which I think is deliberate).  Around the same time the cat brings two live moles upstairs and chases them, squeaking, to their death. There are three times as many months as last night – a sound so full of odd fluttering anxiety I could not have imagined it until now.  I fall asleep eventually at 4am, woken by a 7:30 text… impossible. 

Impossible.  No, I have no functioning braincells, am barely verbal.  I cancel all town plans, including watching the World Cup final.  Instead clean up after Raccoons, read articles, work on this blessed Masters.  Charge battery with solar panels. Find some sleep in between. Build some new living strategies out of thin air, which is hot, again…


But I’m right to stay, and learn more about this deeper rhythm. I sit in the evening sun, while it charges the battery to 95%.  I dissolve all that’s unnecessary in the lake.


9pm, the cat snores, the hatches are battened. I have Hess and Bolick to take me into sleep as the sun dips behind the western shore.  

Significant days, these.

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