I look through my third floor windows at the same houses that were here 100 years ago, hear the train squeal over tracks laid well before that – the houses curve to flank the track as it winds its way through the east end of Hamilton. Trains to carry raw materials like cotton to the factories from far away, then to carry the finished goods out to the rest of the world.
Now they carry chemicals mostly, from what I can see. The tracks that once led to the factories have been ripped up or paved; our grand industrial experiment is over.
It is proposal season – a time when the years ahead begin to take form, when the research finds its focal point, when support materials are found, or found wanting. Also when my knowledge of software programs is tested, and technology is either a boon or a bane. My eyes are buggy from too much screen time.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to articulate what it is I want to do, where I want to do it, and with whom. I’ve always needed to be captain of my own ship, and now here I am, charting my own course through opportunity and experience. This feels really, really good.
I know people who live like mother trees, connected to thousands of others, connecting earth to sky on all levels – deeply grounded and spirit-embodied. Patient, curious, observant, unflappable, venerable and wise – and eternally so, even beyond the time when they were in form.
I know a cello, made from cedar and maple, who sings like a blue whale.
I know a lake, and a shoreline of many levels; I know of a little house in the trees at the base of Ben Nevis, a cabin on the ocean’s edge of an old village in the Shetlands, where my father’s mother’s people came from.
I know of a room in an old/new Arts factory and two floors of rooms in an old house in Hamilton, where threads from the past begin to twine with threads from the future. I am settled, and also unsettled, as I watch them.
Good stories begin like paths in the woods.