Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dispatches from the Trenches

Stepping out for a pee into the night strong wind rain tall trees. Push the smoke flaps over come back in to smoky embers remedied by a hand full of dry manzanita and oak twigs. The rest of the family sleeps barely audible sighs over the rain caressing the cover. No lining or ozan yet; moving lightly in our lodge.
The Big Lodge blew down last new moon in some heavy wind on Soda Mountain. It didn't just blow down, it kind of exploded. It was really well staked around the cover and the tripod was buried 12-18 inches. We were staying in there and went to bed trepidatiously, poles flexing from the onslaught of the wind but standing strong and tight. Little sleep and then sometime around four the cover started tearing on the leeward side. It was a 27' tipi and liked to catch the wind. At this point we roused the children and got out, more tearing as the fabric gave way at the peg loops. Kayla and the kids headed away towards the van, trees crashing, I stayed rolling up bedrolls as the whole structure becomes more and more unstable, wind more and more intense and I find myself in the doorway as reality begins to lean and shift then white canvas passing my face, poles knocking, looking up to see a clear, moonless sky, Orion trailing his dog and away to the left shreds of canvas, still firmly staked, and a pile of articulated poles, fallen, discovered for the first time, ancient bones uncovered by the elements.This was Clear Guidance and we took refuge in town for a few days while we cleaned up the aftermath of the Big Lodge and pitched our family lodge...somewhere else.

The Big Lodge is no more, at least for now, and it's both saddening and a relief. The whole concept and reality of Tipi Village is an unanswered question and this is a time of radical restructuring on many levels. Most welcome. Right now we are one family in the woods and the rain is getting heavier. We get to rise to the circumstance of living and always give thanks.


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