I raised the large front windows, and the cabin got its first gulp of fresh air in months. Daylight is trailing the sun west, but I have a few hours to decompress after the 5 hour drive from Massachusetts to Maine. Temperature -- seventy-eight degrees!
I lugged one of the red, canvas chairs from the cabin, and settled into it. Along with the chair, I brought out a small note pad, and a #2 pencil that has about 4 inches of use left in it. The eraser is petrified, and all it does is smudge and smear as I try to make a mistake disappear. I could have scrounged around in the Expedition and found a pen, but a rod of carbon sheathed in a sleeve of wood fit the environment and my mood. At the cabin, I always turn into a minimalist.
Across the river, the ledges are covered with a thin blanket of green. The water between me and the ledges is flowing by, and carrying all my stress away with it. A gusty breeze is coming on strong from the south. I know that behind it are low, heavy, dark clouds with enough rain to fall for 3 days.
When the last of the daylight fades -- darkness will bring more light -- I am going to build a campfire. A pile of twigs and pine quills will be the tinder. One struck match, and I will coax a flickering flame into a hungry, wood consuming blaze.
Fires mesmerize me. I think it's the brightness in the midst of black, and the phenomenon of stored energy releasing and dispersing, while slumbering people and animals try to recharge and restore energy for another day. Darkness also conceals all movement, but my fire reveals its every leap, twist, rise and fall. The sounds a fire offers up are distinct and out of harmony with the hushed sounds of night -- it hisses, cracks, pops, and makes tinkling sounds as it fuel gives its all, and then collapses in on itself.
So, in just a few hours I will spend hours enjoying the simple and satisfying pleasures of a campfire. In the quiet, my mind will begin retrieving memories from the recent adventure in China. Dancing flames will not provide enough light for me to journal my musings, but without paper or pen or pencil, sentences, then paragraphs, and then pages of written word will begin to organize in my thoughts. When the sun delivers a fresh, new day, I will ease into the red, canvas chair, pick up the #2 pencil, and write.