Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Finally a Name

This morning as I lay in my bed listening to the hot summer rain patter lightly on the roof and drip on the back deck, I decided it was time to get serious about naming our cozy home.  I had played with several names when we first got here, but I realize now we weren't well enough acquainted for me to know the cottage's true name.  After all, a name is a very powerful thing that shapes us as we shape it.  It is a very ancient belief that knowing someones true name gives the knower power.  Giving someone or something a name even more so.   Naming makes you a part of that which you named.

Perhaps this seems like a lot of trouble, putting some much power into a name.  Still, I wanted a name that would reflect the magical thing our cottage will become.  Even now, I see it covered with a wild tangle of climbing roses, the porches primly painted white beneath them.  A green carpet of rupturewort covers the ground with blooms of crocus, hyacinth, and foxglove peeking out in their seasons.  Flat stones mark meandering paths among graceful curved beds where flowers and food keep company like old friends.  It is a place for fairies and pixies to hide, gnomes to guard, and satyrs to caper to the piping of the crickets.

So there in the gentle place between sleep and waking, a name nudged at my awareness.  It flitted in and slipped away with a sly giggle when I tried to grasp it.  Finally I just lay there, open and waiting, knowing it was there for me.  And so it came....  WeeHavyn.  I smiled at the mischief that seemed to drip from it, the joy and gaiety it conjured. 

Our home has a name.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Garden Bones

We have some gardening challenges here at the cottage.  The entire place is on a fairly steep, rocky slope, there is lots of shade, and the only place with enough sunlight is around a Black Walnut tree.  In case you didn't know, Black Walnuts are not friendly neighbors.  They release a chemical called Juglone that kills many plants, tomatoes and peppers not being the least of them.  So what to do?

We could cut the tree down, but it would be years before the toxin dissappates from the soil as the roots break down.  Besides, it's a lovely tree that shades the house in the afternoon.  So I've decided on ferrocement enclosed beds.  This will allow me to control the soil, will drain well during our heavy rains, and keep out the Black Walnut roots.  Ferrocement is basically stucco over a wire mesh frame.  It is incredibly strong and can be made to any shape desired.  Since I had such a flexible material, I figured I might as well make something extraordinary.  My garden will spiral out from the Black Walnut tree, becoming even stronger with its curves.

I managed to get the main wire structure in before the heat of summer.  Now it requires a double layer of chicken wire and the cement coating.  I can do the chicken wire anytime, but the cement must wait until the coolness of fall to cure properly.  Meanwile I am left with merely the skeleton of a garden.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Long and Twisted Road

So it begins. 

There are so many new beginnings in the course of one's life.  Some beginnings are abrupt, the result of an ending and often very obvious in a physical sense.  Our move to the Missouri woods was such a beginning.  In the course of two months, we changed our entire lives, slamming one door and bursting though another.  Everything we knew was ruptured.  Yet we clung to the habits and beliefs that had brought us there, the only familiar thing we had left.

Yet that violent beginning was to become a catalyst to another beginning, one so subtle it would take nearly two years for me to discover it was happening.  As I look back, I realize I can never return to myself as I was then.  I am not the same person.  I have come to realize that many of the beliefs I held dear for much of my adult life no longer work.  The fabric of my reality has stretched and it no longer fits my old way of life.  I must expand myself to accommodate what I have learned.

I will no longer live in Fear.