Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dispatches from the Cabin: Part Two

"Nat and Dave arrive on a cloudy, brisk day," Nat wrote in the cabin's journal on December 30, 1994. "The house is like an ice cube but with a few logs on the fire and both heaters ablaze, she'll be warm in no time. This is the Ark's [the cabin's] first winter stay. So we don't have any idea what we're in for. But we don't really care or worry. There's only one place to be and that's where we are."

I made three more mid-winter visits to Islesford after this, the last in 1979. In January of '78, Nat stayed on for a month, much of it alone. Years later, he spoke of that time as among the best moments of his life, reveling in the solitude and sense of being at one with wild creation. He cut wood, hauled water, tended the fire, and went on long walks around the island, whatever the weather. He had time to draw and paint. The cabin was his "secret place...his sanctuary of sanity."

It's hot here today (Sunday). Sukie and I read. She knits. We nap. A warbler nests nearby and occasionally alights on a spruce branch in the yard. It flies off as I reach for the binoculars. After supper, we'll go over to Treetop and sit on the front porch and look across the Eastern Way at the mountains and watch the sunset. There's only one place to be and that's where we are. Photo: Islesford Post Office and Market

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