Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NHVSP 2011 Update 12

Jayson Benoit from NorthWoods shares his work with the center's forest management practices 

I shall try to be brief as time is short (though of course it actually stretches endlessly in all directions).

The birthday boy
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ZANE! We awoke this morning to a special performance by Tobias and Jake, in honor of the birthday boy. Getting out of our sleeping bags we headed straight for the pond, which is now halfway ice free – we had a 6 o’clock appointment with the cold water. Brave souls we jumped in one by one, before taking a victory lap around the pond (on dry land). The spectacle was very much enjoyed by the new 17 year old, and the rest of the audience that each had their turn. Then it was back to work; a trailer to be packed and a big home to be cleaned up, leaving as little trace as possible.

Mathilde receiving advice from Grandfather
Having Grandfather Ray Reitze ( and Nancy Reitze in our community for these days has been a real blessing for us. He shared with us his look upon the world and life, and they had lots of entertaining stories to fill the evening with. Grandfather also made the workshop such a good space as we made our paddles, with no pressure but our own to push us to the finished products. The paddles are shaped by and for our own hands, in cooperation (and sometimes quarrel) with the wood, and we can’t wait to dip them in the water for the first time, not to mention finally getting our canoe on the water.

Among our last days’ finish up work we took time on Thursday for a visit from Polly Mahoney and two of her apprentices and three of her dogs. She held a public slideshow at the Stewardship Center, and captivated us all with the amazing pictures of the 10 years she spent working and living in Alaska’s wilderness. These meetings with people who love what they do give us so much more than I can describe in words. Thank you Polly, and everyone we meet that inspires and sows seeds in us.

Hides get stretched and .....
....used as a minitrampolin
I can’t not tell you about the weather, so I will briefly say that we have had alternating days with snow and wind and sun and above freezing temperatures. Everyone enjoys telling us that “in a few days it will be in the 70s and you’ll be wearing shorts”, but we have learned that these comments actually mean we’ll get a snowstorm within two days (this has happened very consistently). All three of our teachers have promised us better weather tomorrow (Sunday), but I think it’s best that we just wait and see. If spring won’t come to us, at least we’ll now start travelling to it.

We carried the canoes down to the river this afternoon. Our time here has come to a close. We packed our baskets, took our village down yesterday, and our paddles stand ready in the workshop. One more night and then we will be on our way – the Clyde River is waiting, Island Pond, which we hope will melt tonight so we can cross it, the Nulhegan River and then the big Connecticut that will lead us south.

The night sky invites so many poems
All alone with it.  It opens me up.
The dark is good all around me
Unknown, but I am connected above
I don't need any light as I walk these paths
My memory tells me where I have to step carefully.
They are familiar, but even richer in this lack of light.
Rich in emotions
Soon there will be no familiar paths
Soon I will wear a headlamp every night
To see where I step
That is the difference:
Somewhere new every night
No well trodden trails
It is a loss and joy
To leave this home behind
Take our home down, this tent that I have walked into
Each night without much thought of it
Rhythms I have made, unknowingly letting myself settle
As easy as that
We are taking down this village, everything we
Have built - these that are my landmarks of
This place - so permanent in my memory that they
Could be here forever, could have been here
Always, even though we ourselves set them up.
Journey on.  We will go on.
And the stars will be above me wherever I go.

Wish us all luck!

Serene is praying for SUN
Bridie intensely working on bucking up wood for NHVSP 2012

Mathilde Vikene, Spring Scribe, NH-Vermont Semester ‘11

No comments:

Post a Comment