Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cabin: Everything Else

Hey, lookit guys, I'm combining knitting AND more ramblings about my cabin in the same post! (OH, how 'bout dat dere...)

I finished the back of my brother's sweater and now have a couple of inches done on one of the fronts.  I went back and forth about the idea of knitting both fronts at the same time, but I opted not to.  I'm obsessive enough to have counted that I knit 148 rows on the back before beginning the raglan decreases, and I'll do it again for the front.  I think knitting one piece at a time will make each go faster (though it doesn't change how long it'll take to get them both done), and I think not having to switch strands all the time will help me get into that crazy knitting zone where things seem to happen on their own.  You know what I'm talking about.

On an unrelated note, the pumpkins in my back garden are threatening to take over the entire house.  They've already hidden the tomatoes, carrots, beans, peas, and some of the lettuce (oh, and the zucchini).  For reference, the back of the sweater is 28" tall.

Here's the part where I talk forever about my cabin again.  I made a huge list of things I wanted to blog about while I was there, but as the trip becomes more distant, I've crossed a lot off the list because it's boring.  However, there's still quite a bit that I want to touch on.  You may need a snack.

Here's a little better picture of the "turtle" on the Turtle Mountains, where my cabin is located.  (Hint: It's in the middle of the picture, hiding behind a, um, power line post thingy.  What are those called?  He's facing left.)

I am so excited to share these pictures with you guys.  It happens to be my absolute favorite part about being up at my cabin.  The sunrise!

My cabin faces the sunrise head on and I made sure to be awake every morning by 5:30 so I didn't miss it.  The water is calm beyond belief, and the only beings awake are me and the birds (although, honestly, I was usually awake before even the birds).  Oh my goodness, and the birds!  I am a huge bird lover and it was heaven to sit on my dock and watch the sunrise while the loons (which were usually the first birds awake) called back and forth to each other.  Throughout the day there were dozens and dozens of different birds coming and going - Bald Eagles, Nuthatches, Wrens, Cardinals, Chickadees, Northern Harriers, Goldfinches, Catbirds, Yellow Warblers, Hummingbirds, Cormorants, Woodpeckers (of all varieties), Orioles, Grebes... I could go on forever.

As beautiful as the sunrise always was, the real reason I got out of bed every morning was the silence.  I will be the first to admit that people bug me, noise bugs me, and I love to be alone with nothing but silence.

You can almost hear it in this next picture - the sound of absolutely nothing.

When you start your morning like this, there are never any worries, no stress, and no fears.  These mornings really got me thinking about a lot of different things.  It really got me thinking about where I'll end up in the future and what will make me happy.  I can tell you right now that these two things seem to conflict.  You see, on the one hand I dream to be a great musician playing in a professional orchestra, while on the other, I want to live with my horizons looking the way these do.  The trouble is, great orchestras are in cities - sunrises are not.  I want to live somewhere with space, with nature, with views that are uninterrupted by skyscrapers and sounds devoid of freeways and airplanes.  I've never been driven by power, fame, money, or "success", but happiness, comfort, and a sense of belonging.  I think all too often these days people forget about what's truly important in life, but I hope to one day surround myself with it.

I absolutely love the sound of wind blowing through aspen leaves as they shimmer in the sun.  It sounds like gentle raindrops on a beautiful, bright day.

Some days, both the sunrise and the lake looked more colorful, more alive.

My brother made an interesting remark one day while we were driving past a gas station near the area.  He said, "It seems like everyone up here is 20 years behind the rest of the country" and my first thought was, "isn't it wonderful?"  Of course, he was making fun of their fashion, but there was a lot of truth in his statement.  I know there are many who can't imagine living outside of a city because there would never be anything to do, nowhere to go, no one to see, but I think it sounds fantastic.  The area where my cabin is located seems untouched by this big city life, seems to exist not along-side urban life or even as its opposite, but as something completely different.  Things are truly moving at their own pace out there, and it seems so much more real, more full of those things I value.

In my brother's eyes, it all seems as if it is behind the times, but I see it as being completely removed from the times.  Not only removed from city life, but seemingly removed from all of today's problems as well.  It is a place where values are upheld and respect is shown to others.  Some find it annoying, but I love how everyone waves and smiles at you as you drive by - whether they know you or not.  They're just having a wonderful day and glad you're there to enjoy it with them - and I don't blame them one bit.

I made a point to photograph some spiderwebs one morning to remind myself of something that can be applied to both knitting and life in general.  Look how beautiful it is, how delicate, how perfect it is.  They have long been admired for this beauty and fragility, the spider for being so skilled at what it does.  But there are flaws, there are holes in the web, there are strands stuck together, and there is gross gunk stuck all over in there.

I thought they were a great way to remind myself that perfection isn't everything, that flaws shouldn't get me disappointed, and that when there's a whole lot of nasty speckling your life, the beauty is still there.  So who cares if there's a missed YO in my lace, or if I squeak in a Beethoven symphony?  Ok, so I didn't do too well on that test, or I had to eat peanut butter sandwiches for two weeks in a row because it's all I could afford.  So what?  Those little things seem insubstantial compared to the big picture.

I'm sure this all sounds very deep and philosophical coming from an atheist, but really, I do believe that life is something that should be cherished, respected, and that we should expend our energy seeking out happiness rather than material wealth.

Because otherwise what's the point?  I say enjoy life while you can.

and don't forget to listen to a sunrise every once in a while.  It'll do ya some good.


  1. What a beautiful post -- the words, the ideas behind them and the pictures!

  2. And you wonder why I'm complete enamored with you! Seriously, the brilliance that resides in your head and heart is so astounding and refreshing...

  3. Come to the Pacific Northwest! Portland's Oregon Symphony is fabulous and we are just a couple hours drive from beautiful free beaches and lots of nature!! Plus, Sock Summit is being hosted here which means we've got to have something going for us!

  4. Well, you know that most large cities are surrounded by practically nothing, right? If you're willing to have a long commute, you could just live outside the city and hop a train in to work every day.

    Btw: I could do without the spiderweb pictures! ;-)

  5. Your photos are wonderful! It's been a crappy day and your post was a most welcome break from the drudgery.

    Water always calms me.. Even though I prefer the ocean to lakes, there is something about the ever-changing picture that just makes me drift away from reality. I let the waves take my thoughts wherever they want to go and just enjoy the ride.

    Thank you, darlin'!

  6. Gorgeos photos and spot on writing. If only we could teleport from city to peace and nature when the day's work is done!

  7. Sunrise is my favorite time of the day too - for lots of reasons.

    How about Tanglewood Music Festival? It's not year-round, but sure is nice scenery. :)

  8. Beautiful photos, and a beautiful post.

    For what it's worth, we've got a pretty top-notch orchestra here in Rochester, and it's really not very far at all to the countryside and rolling hills. So, come to Rochester! (of course, by the time you could do that, I will probably be someplace else).

  9. Your account of time in your favorite place is so sweet, and I think we can all relate with the often competing relationship between where we're headed and where we'd like to be.

    The photos are simply beautiful. :)

  10. Thank you for sharing your cabin. The pictures are so beautiful! They make me want to get away from everything and enjoy nature like that.