We returned last week from spending time at the cabin, a place I go and visit in my head at least a few times a week, and as often as we can in "reality".
The cabin is the place that I ground myself to like no other. I have visited here many, many times since my first visit in 1961...when I was just a little bitty girl.
We share this very special place with several family members, so we all try to 'book' our times around each other's schedules. How was I to know, way back in January, that the world would be an entirely different place in June? I assumed back then that we would be in Umbria for the spring, return to work for awhile, and take off again for a week at the cabin... before settling into a busy summer at the gallery. Ha ha. What a hoot.
We decided to go anyway, just to connect with this special place, and have a different 'view' on this crazy Covid 19 life we are living. It was a very perfect thing to do, I must say.
We had many wonderful experiences in our way too short time there, including hikes, reading for hours, bbq's, sleeping under the stars, seeing a coyote and a bear in the same day, playing gorilla badminton while enjoying Campari and soda....man, it was great.
But...my all time favorite thing to do when I am at the cabin is to play in the nearby creek and build a dam with river rocks. It's great way to stay cool, get some upper body exercise, and get the hell outta my head for a couple of hours.
Perfection. Absolute perfection.
I've built many a dam on this particular creek, and it never, ever gets old.
In past years I've gotten creative by using only pink or red hued rocks, to create a special effect:
|Up close it was really cool...|
|...and even from way above, I was pretty proud of it.|
Many, many years ago, I gave a nod to Andy Goldsworthy, by creating an 18' diameter circle of stones just under the surface of the stream. It took me 3 days, and I couldn't get over how perfect it came out:
This trip, I just wanted to enjoy the feeling of being in the cool water, using my aging body to move stones, and just get lost in the work. We went to this spot 4 days in a row, at around 3pm, and stayed for a couple of hours, until it got chilly and the sun was low in the sky.
Johnny brings a beach chair and a book...I just want to be in the water. We brought a bottle of wine and snacks, and enjoyed the sounds of the natural world. So different from our daily life of noisy cars, sirens, dogs barking, etc....It was/is heaven.
Our Grandma Dottie always called this area 'God's Country'. I'm down with that.
The water was wicked cold at first, but I got used to it really fast, and loved being right there in the middle of the creek, doing my thing.
This time, I made a jig-jag sort of dam, just going with the flow of the water. I wan't trying to stop the river, just make some sort of 'pools' along the way....
First off, the water isn't deep at all, it's just fast moving, so I had to be careful not to slip on the stones and fall. Of course I did, several times, and have the bruises to prove it. You fall hard on river rocks, and it's painful!
I wanted to make a spot that I could actually get down into and swim a bit. This would be my dam- making goal for the week.
So, here's the thing. I worry about everything. It's a constant noise in my head. Like someone busted open a yellow jacket nest in my brain. Buzz, buzz, buzz...all the bloody time.
What can I say? It's a big part of who I am, and I try to work hard to make it go away. Not easy.
But, when I was in that water, it all went away. All the stress, anxiety, worry...gone. All I thought about was finding the next rock to put in place. That, and not slipping and falling in the water.
It was just the therapy I needed. It is the therapy I always crave. Me, the water and the rocks. Basta.
I need nothing else. I want to bottle this remedy to take everyday, somehow.
(note to self: bottle that remedy and take it everyday...don't ask, just figure it the f^#* out!)
|Getting some sunshine was pretty sweet, too.|
|I ended up with three little 'pools'.|
I worked at it until I thought it was time to take a dip, and so I did...
I decided to add more rocks here and there, and then it was pretty damn perfect.
|One more here, another one there, and we be done!|
|Just deep enough to swim in!|
Though I was able to swim, actually swim, the current was so fast, it was an upstream battle royale. You can't tell from these photos how deep or how fast the water was. I did get a big old kick out of getting myself 'all in', though, and laughed my ass off in the process.
I made a good dam, man!
|Sun heading down, end of the work day.|
It was a real good lesson for me. Do what makes you happy, girl. Get dirty, get wet, get exhausted while you're at it. Enjoy a glass of wine while you revel in what you've created. Afterwards, sleep under the stars you remember sleeping under all your life.
Wake up the next day and do it all over again.
And...for god's sake...don't forget the child within.
(p.s. stop worrying so much!!)