Barn Raising: Day #1
Heavy fog. I can’t see anything outside my ring of trees. Dripping wet. Quiet. The clock ticks. The wood stove ticks as it cools after I burn the paper trash. Outside is the piquant scent of juniper and pinion. I curl up in my pink chair and sip my tea, getting ready to watch the crew, though I wonder if they will make it up the wretchedly muddy road. I decide I’ll finally set up the 60 gallon blue rain barrel under the downspout from my top cabin roof. Can’t let the rain escape.
The guys made it up thew mucky road in their 2-wheel drive truck! I’m impressed. They are digging with the auger then jackhammering the limestone in the fog. Inspired by their labor I feel industrious. I make a platform for the blue barrel, get it positioned and, right on cue, the heavens open up with a gushing downpour. Such an orchestra of sounds—thunder booming down the canyon, and once the storm leaves me, the rain pummeling the land fifty miles away. At the end, that barrel is full—60 gallons in a half hour.
Then I slog up, my boots twice their size with heavy clay mud, to see how the crew is doing. They took shelter during the rain but are out again, digging, jackhammering. By the end of the day they have half the poles in.
Late night. So still. The canyon has captured the fog in its stony arms. I remember chatting with Steve, the foreman. He’s my height, lithe, with beautiful posture, terrible teeth, and a twinkle in his eye. He is soft-spoken. He emanates kindness. I like standing beside him, saying little, gazing at the barn site, happy with it, happy with the fog, the day, the men, the project, with my life. I tell Steve about the ravens choosing the site. He nods, but who knows what he thinks.