December 11, 2011

North Mountain woods

The mountain to the north of the farm has lost most of its autumn leaves. The orange clad hunters have abandoned the woods so it is safe to venture in. We go up looking for the fire and orbital agate veins that sudden chunks along leaf choked streams tease up. Or black crystal magnetite that sticks to a magnet and will get you lost as the compass needle swings a jig. The deer are still hiding out, but there are grouse and white rabbits and wild apples rotting in hidden vales. The walks and a few good books by the fire distract me from the work left undone, which can wait till spring; the fields are tucked in with a flush of fall rye, the garlic is rooted and the chickens are in the freezer. It has been my strategy since living in Nova Scotia to leave the farm to enjoy rest and perspective for the winter (while working in some remote camp). This year we will brave the Atlantic storms in this old house that my sweetheart has made into a warm and exciting home, Joy and gratitude spring up every day at the miracle of love in its beautifully unexpected permutations. I found an old lapidary unit, a gem maker of unknown vintage but solid character, and I am learning to cut the magical stones that cross my path, find pleasing patterns and grind out their potential. I have ground out a fingernail or two in the learning curve and have found a strategy for not getting soaked in an icy cold shop. The colours of the north mountain woods are in the stones whose patterns swirl and fuse some ancient stories that I am humbled by and hope to be present for with fingers intact. The stonework is a welcome transition from the laborious and often thankless work of market gardening to a creative process that while a new unexplored medium, feels like a comfortable old friend


Mr. H. said...

It is nice to hear your words again.:)

Ruth Trowbridge said...

I am so happy for you Anne. I have missed your beautiful voice. I too live in bliss with my love, farm in the summer, and play with rocks all winter. Usually there is 3 feet of snow and -10. But today is feels like September, no frost, no snowline, nothing. Walking in the woods is surreal here too, the lighting, the colors, the stillness. Makes me want to garden! peace

eegjim said...

It is nice to her your voice again which is poetry to my old ears!