BY KIMBERLY MAYER
I must be living in man’s country. Just this week we met two more intelligent, good men who share my husband’s love of woodworking. Paul Bunyans of the Pacific Northwest, all of them. One by one, every house is giving up the garage or building a shed for a workshop. My Paul Bunyan’s intention is to sculpt with logs, but I’m putting in an order for a long organically-shaped “live” table as well.
Going rural changes things.
I have gone from browsing Nordstrom’s flagship store in downtown Seattle to leafing through Orvis catalogs in the mail. From loving linens to admiring homespun weaves. From manicured box hedges to an old growth forest. From a Pennsylvania bluestone patio to gravel rock. From candle light to bonfires. From dining out every week to eating in.
What is aesthetically pleasing to me now has changed. I can find beauty in firewood neatly stacked. In driftwood washed up on the shore at random. And hay, when it’s rolled in the fields later in the summer. I nearly go ecstatic; it’s like living in a French Impressionist landscape.
People with so much love in their hearts they plant daffodil bulbs in the wilderness, and make signs for art’s sake.
Euphorbia on a white fence, and English daisy in the grass. Mossy paths to anywhere. And anytime I come upon a cairn, it is magical to me.
At home: a deck that’s swept, a floor that’s swept. And the way cedar needles blend into the colors of my foyer rug so I may go awhile without vacuuming.
Rock and wood in the house. An antler wreath. Antique paddles made by my father-in-law as a young man. The ceramic Raku Fish by Tomfoolery Artworks on the wall swimming toward the sea. Our view from every room, every day.
It’s the things that were here, and are here, that we had nothing to do with. Our part, it seems to me, is to stand back and be in awe of it all.