Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Talking country

"Raining out your way?" they used to say to us with a big grin at the Post Office when everyone was getting their mail at 12pm. There used to be quite a crowd in the winter when no logging was going on. And being new and green as could be we would answer sincerely, "Yes it's really pouring," not realizing we had just been given an opening for a REMARK about the weather or anything else, not realizing how nuanced that "Raining out your way?"question was, communicating curiosity about how you were holding up during the 4th week of steady rain, acknowledging the tedium and cabin fever restlessness that comes with such weather, accepting rain as a constant companion and a necessary and valuable friend come summer when we all would wish for some, and all of this mixed with the an I've been here so long, I hardly notice wise ass attitude. All in four words. Stunning!

The first spring here the road crew, there were four on the Hyampom crew, was out on our road widening it so that Beebe could start logging out toward Grouse Creek and destroy my dream of peace and quiet with logging trucks all summer. But that knowledge was to come later. They had to blast some overhanging rock from the Red Point which was too bad as it was really kind of like Tettering rock from Lil' Abner. They would come and tell us when they were going to blast which was nice and they even dug up the road so we could put our water line across. We picked up a lot of information about how to live here, what kind of wood to get in, how to find cedar logs we could make posts out of . I think they enjoyed being wise and we were certainly receptive. But when Allan told them we had been boiling our water, which we had done all over Asia and elsewhere, they took great exception to that and got down on all fours by the creek and drank long and deep from it to show that it was clean water and our precaution was ruining something natural and good. "Well, Allan said, by way of explanation for our pecular behavior "I thought there might be a dead deer or something upstream." Mutt Lehman, who was road crew head, replied with totally dead pan expression. "Dead deer don't drink much water."

I still drink the water as is from a spring above my house and the experience of drinking from a stream, from getting down close to cup it or lower the mouth and nose in and suck it up is an ancient and healing experience, one that humans have done for millions of years and mammals for much longer. Drinking from the breast of the mother!

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