I wonder as I wander

This post is overdue, and quick. It’s 10:15 and I almost broke my New Year’s resolution to write here daily. On Day 2.

Something that keeps me going back to the cabin is the sense of wonder I feel there. The place is familiar but never the same. Each winter at about this time I pull out the binders of blueprints and maps and sketches and start making lists of all the things I want to build or plant or change. My good friend Carter indulges this curiosity and longing with his sharp drafting pen (he designed Walden). So there’s a shelf-full of slightly different plans and blueprints here, full of alternate styles of plinth blocks and newel posts and porch trim patterns. If you want to build a cabin, call me.


Draft 22 of the new Walden kitchen. We settled on draft 40.

By spring, though, I truck down to the Island armed with all this ambition and, after shaking the dead flies out of my rubber boots, I walk out onto the land and Stop.

Suzy calls this gobsmacked. I find myself standing in the woods, breathing deeply, looking at everything and nothing in particular, like a tree, just there. And, suddenly, all the plans and ideas and ambition make no sense at all. Happiness is in the detail of the maple bark, the fragrant air as the earth exhales, or the evening call of the hermit thrush.

IMG_5191It’s that easy. Twenty years after building that cabin I’m still not entirely accommodating the fact that everything I could ever need to be happy is right there. And it always was.

The trees whisper, “Simplify, simplify, you idiot.”

And so begins an exploration of wonder. There is so much more here. But, for today, Day 2 of 2015, enough is enough.


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