For forty some years now a part of my heart has been lodged in the log embrace of my cabin. My parents bought it when I was in second grade. The day after school let out, my mother and my sibs were in the car and on our way to the cabin, where we would spend days barefooted and swim suited and blissfully at one with water and space. My father would pay his visits weekly after he had finished worship on Sunday. The same was true for the other men who owned cabins up and down our beach. They would come, the men, and they would leave. And the beach? It was a community of women and children with an occasional and welcome male splash.
After a time, my father moved there and made home full time. The power of his spirit was taken into the pores of the place. When he died all too suddenly in its shelter, his wife muddled on for a time in the solitude and the stress of winter in isolated places. She came to know the need to bail.
So I bought it. I could not imagine it leaving the family. I could not imagine my life without the sanctuary of its presence. I could not bear the thought of leaving the community of women and children now grown and the generations beginning to find roots there. I bought it and in doing so I am keeper of the light of hearth for me and for my kin who know it as heart home.
This summer it is not available to me. For a time, it is being rented to another. And oh, the ache for the smell and the feel and the hold and the song of it is visceral. The rhythms of my life are jarred. The crawling in that has long been is no more for a time.
I am learning things. I am learning that I am a creature who must spend time by water, in wind, and under trees. I am paying attention to the ache and seeking ways for my rhythm to be restored in other venues. I am digging more in the ground of my city yard. I am seeking re-creation through lakes and grass and water never far from the armor of concrete. I am learning gratitude for God’s creative glory in the birds that feed on the newly hung bird feeder in my yard. I am learning.
And I know that after a time, the cabin that is the nest of my heart will once again take me in. So this ode to ache is also song of gratitude. She is, that log hug. She is, and she waits for me and mine. That is blessing, it is blessing indeed.