Cabin Stories 2020: the lake March 31, Hamilton, Ontario As I drive through the rain from there to here I see rainbow auras over everything – trees, fields, barns, mailboxes, road. It’s good to be out, to be in that odd state of stillness and movement that is distance driving. The trip north does its work – gets me out of the loop of statistics and analyses – death curves, stock market dives, lists of and check-ins with people I love, scrabble with strangers who can’t sleep, either. I’m glad I have a chainsaw, though using it exhausts me. I have named her Catharsis. Glad I have a woodstove too, that the cabin is small enough to heat in a moment, that there’s hardly any wifi there to speak of. In the new day there I am content to go down and open up the bothy (without touching anything but the door handle, which I clean) for family to use when they come, in ones and twos. I sit on a rock and throw other rocks back into the lake that pushed them onto the deck, into the firepit, over the stone steps down. One rock at a time, each of them different. This one, I keep. I’m not the same size or shape as the woman who lived in the cabin for six months, twenty months ago, and I feel the truth of this through my evening read. My work, that shifts and changes as the world does, calls me to shift and change with it, though I don’t yet know what shape it will take. So many of us, in this place of not yet knowing. I sleep two nights in the lullaby of waves on shore and spring warblers, then leave through the morning thunderstorm. The deep healing balm of fire and ice and water and air and rock. The friendship of trees who know me well. These I bring away with me. I leave nuts for the critters. Hamilton now, in another wet morning. A radical re-write my Canada Council grant before the deadline next week. Studio work, albeit at a snail’s pace as I adjust to the tectonic shifts. Cards drawn and mailed to those I love, and those loved by others who have requested I write. Furniture shifted around to make this lovely rented place more work savvy. In week three of self-isolation I’ve connected with people I know and love from each of my 5.5 decades of life – SUCH a joy. Our lives have shrunk to just US in our spaces, together while apart. It strikes me that we are all suddenly in the business of attending to what home is, and who we are, in it. And who we are not. It’s a rather tough lesson in trust. Faith, too. Must be hell on the narcissists.