10.11.15 It’s been quite awhile since I’ve walked to this spot at the head of the lake. When I first found the path out to the water years ago, I thought of it as my own little secret. Behind the small, vacant gated community, I squeezed through a gap in the wire fence, into a quiet empty field with grasses swaying in the breeze and their gentle rustling sound. I could hear rocks tumbling together at the shoreline from the lapping waves. I used to whisper in this place. I always intended, some crisp blue Spring morning, to take a folding chair and my sketch pad and draw the early Red-wing Blackbird sitting on a cat-tail. But, I never did.
Now, they’ve sealed the fence and the gated community has exploded with new homes. Where once the skyline was a vast meadow with waving grasses all the way to the blue water’s edge and distant purple mountains, jumbo ugly new homes block the view. I can still get out there along the public access easement, and as long as I keep my eyes looking south to the lake, I can pretend the homes don’t exist. But, now, if I were to sit with my sketch pad, I would hear hot tub motors behind my back.
There’s a ruin of a homestead/barn in the field, alone and dilapidated in the wetlands prairie. I’ve taken a million photos over the years. I’ve tried to get shots of the yellow Paper Birch trees framed in the empty windows, and the misty mountains in the distance. When I’ve done watercolor paintings, I’ve struggled to make the texture of rough weathered wood. Sometimes, I’ve drawn in the pigeons who live there. I read in the local newspaper a few weeks ago, that it’s going to be torn down–for safety reasons they said.
So, I went out to that sacred spot yesterday, before it’s too late. Maybe, just because it’s Autumn, the old relic reminds me of my own impermanence; and the question Mary Oliver’s asks in one of her poems:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”