And grounded in their accustomed places,
But at a safe distance from the fire,
Managed to keep their snowy muffs intact
While they surrendered their nocturnal privacy
To this uncommon light.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
And grounded in their accustomed places,
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I do not take these outward demonstrations lightly. I know that in comparison with other rulers in this world, I am blessed beyond compare. For that, I am thankful.
From the vantage point of my throne in the window, and suitably robed and crowned, I have watched with my spidery little eyes as you have celebrated your own day of thanksgiving.
I have tracked the course of the sun as it rose through its magnificent new-every-day bonnet of orange and pink and made its way across the sky, at first up, up, up but always just below the ridge line of Buckskin until it broke free into the open sky to put this little village awash in its warming light. Only a short time later, it seemed to me, it disappeared behind Copper and moved on toward the west, taking its light, packed-up in a satchel, with it.
I have watched over the street, noted the comings and goings - up and down, across and back. There I have seen the raven beat its black wings against the cold air, the sound of the movement audible, in order to traverse the street from one end to the other, looking right, looking left, ascertaining that all is well in its chosen place of habitation.
I have witnessed all of your preparations for the late-afternoon feast, the setting of the tables, the stuffing of the squash, the trussing of the turkeys. I have heard all the chopping, the mixing, and the splashing. And the smells! AH! The smells. A fragrant potpourri to a royal nose!
And I have heard your voices. The voices of angels, they were, lifted together in songs of thanksgiving and praise. And I have overheard your talk at the table. I heard voices joined together in laughter, in the exchange of holiday greetings, and in the sharing of memories of past Thanksgivings.
Later in the evening, you would all return for the desserts you could never have eaten comfortably had they been served immediately after your dinner. There were pumpkin pies and apple pies with plenty of fresh whipped cream for a topping.
After your dessert but long before you left the dining hall, I had been taken from my handmade none-like-it-in-all-the-world throne and put to bed. As I fell asleep, I said my own payer of thanksgiving. As I did so, I remembered these lines from the worship service before the meal:
The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land,
a land with flowing streams,
with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills,
a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates,
a land of olive trees and honey,
a land where you may eat bread without scarcity,
where you will lack nothing,
a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper.
You shall eat your fill
and bless the Lord your God for the good land that the Lord has given you.
Before I fell asleep, I gave thanks also.
For race cars,
And most especially, I gave thanks for the one who loves me.
Without thought for tomorrow.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The turkeys had already arrived. The produce and the perishables would arrive closer to the holiday itself. But the rest of the "fixin's" arrived Friday. And they arrived via a barge trip up Lake Chelan. The barge was met by two large trucks from Holden Village and the "fixin's" were offloaded onto the trucks by a team of indefatigable "mavericks" assisted by a crane to lift the flats onto the truck bed. The trucks then drove the 12 miles up the road to the village where they were met by every able bodied soul around to offload them at the loading dock and move the goods, one thing at a time, person-to-person along a human chain into the proper storage place.
It was daylight when the operation began. It was dark when it was finished.
And I have no idea as to what the bill might have been.
The first truck pulls up to the loading dock. (And yes, I forgot to add that we had just had a rather substantial snowfall the night before so these truck had to make the trip up on a snow-covered gravel road.)
The trucks were piled high with boxes and bags of food. Admittedly, most of this gigantic order will be used over the course of the coming months and not just for Thanksgiving, but it was a huge task to get it to Holden and offloaded into the proper storage areas.
Lead Cook, Mary Sather (in the yellow hat) was the person chiefly responsible for making the order and then for checking an itemized list to make sure that everything ordered was delivered. She is assisted in checking in the delivery by Carole Young.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
It turned out to be our good fortune that this first snowfall would give way to warmer temperatures and that the snow would melt and give us additional time to prepare for The Real First and Lasting Snowfall of the winter. There was yet work to be done to prepare the village for winter. (You could have fooled me! I thought we were ready to sit back and drink hot chocolate for the next 5 months!)
And just today, we have all checked on the extended forecast and beginning tomorrow night we have about a week's worth of "rain and snow" with freezing temperatures. This may be IT! With that forecast ever in mind, the last minute preparations have continued in earnest.
Rich Wilson, here as a volunteer for a week to check and "tweak" the various computer systems that keep the village running (some say that his work is "Magic," others say that he works "inside the black box") was actually out on a short hike on Sunday when he stopped by the labyrinth to see what Angela Mietzke and I were doing with all those stakes and all that frozen earth. He was soon put to work. This snow was actually from the previous 7" snowfall, and we needed to get the paths marked before the entire thing is covered by subsequent snowfalls. Then, little did I know, we will tramp the paths on snowshoes so that the labyrinth is available for walking throughout the winter. Eventually, the paths will remain flat from the tramping and the areas between the paths will rise so that you are actually walking in a trench carved out of the snow by snowshoes. We probably got this task completed on the last possible day to do it. Except for all the tramping, we are ready for the labyrinth-in-winter to take shape... literally.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
In its own way,
Considers its place
In a life
That is all too brief,
Even for a spider.
But in a response to
Its natural instincts,
Its urgent demands,
Its heretofore proven expectations,
Summons all that is necessary
For the task at hand
From within itself,
And trails out a single filament
Upon which it descends
With a practiced confidence,
It would seem,
Until it is suspended
Above the abyss
Which would consume it
Should all that has thus far proved expeditious
Sunday, November 9, 2008
This morning and all day
continued, its white
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
We awoke this morning to our first real snowfall. We have had cold weather and we have had some traces of snow, but no accumulations to speak of. I know that I am from the southern regions of this country, but I have never seen, nor imagined, so much snow falling in one day. What began in the night has continued non-stop throughout the day and is continuing at the moment on into the evening.
I understand that the snow is supposed to turn into rain tomorrow. And I understand that there will be dramatic accumulations of snow throughout the winter, but I thought you might like to see a first glimpse of Holden Village as the winter begins in earnest.
Here is a sampling of photos taken today. Enjoy.