I swim in the rain. The lake is now well beyond bracing, but not yet head-achingly cold.
It occurs to me as I go in for the third time that this is perhaps what the crows had been trying to tell me,
HEY! Time to think about Packing Up! COLD COMES!
What I didn’t hear then, I hear now, loudly, clearly. During the shouting swim, after the swim bundled and watching the fire blaze hot in the cold rain.
From my snug place under the new guest-house tarp I understand that my days here are now numbered.
I think about the fire in my belly, and what it burns for: beauty, art, connection, integrity.
I think about what I will take with me from this place, what I will leave behind, six weeks from now.
I think about cutting and stacking firewood in a place where it will stay dry, so I can visit and stay for a snowstorm or two, in the darker months.
The wildness of this place has seeped into my bones in the time I’ve lived and worked (and howled) in this place. I realize that I’ve never felt more anchored, more safe than I do, here.
I memorize this feeling and pull it over me like a blanket of sounds – waves on the shore, rain and wind in the trees, crows spreading news.
I have just enough time left to make a new skin for myself from that blanket. It will replace the old crusty carapace I broke out of, then ate. I will wear my new skin into the urban studio I’ll work from this coming winter, and draw music, art and story out of it.
The intersected ecosystems of urban many-human with wild and natural. My (estimated) two-year tour to find the intersection points between human and natural ecosystems. Like stones from the shore I’ll pick up stories, defining moments, shared burdens and acts of collaboration, write them into my skin, make art.
Then share it.
I shoo the matronly porcupine out of my cabin in the wee hours of this morning, gently and respectfully. She’s just curious, after all. Leaves slowly, lumberingly, quills only slightly raised.
I’m so grateful to be the adopted wild thing here this summer.