I'm Working On A Dream, Mixed Media, Suzanne Lewis © 2010

You can see more of my work on my website at http://www.suzannelewis.com All images © Suzanne Lewis 2011

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Day Two Euphoria October 11

It is blustery and sunny when I wake this morning.  The indoor thermometer reads 67 degrees.  Not too bad given it’s in the 50’s outside.  Last night I dreamed about my dog Judge and a wolverine.  According to an animal totem website, “Wolverine heralds the awakening of passion for life and the ability to absorb all the lessons that come our way.  This passion can be a gift or a curse, depending on how it is used.  One can be a glutton for food (a detriment) or a glutton for knowledge (a benefit).  Wolverine teaches us never to surrender, to pursue what we desire until we reach our goals.” Words to the wise as I continue struggling with this challenging middle grade novel.

Speaking of wolverines, people often ask if it’s scary out here all alone.  Over the years I’ve never felt afraid or threatened.  Well, with the exception of the white-footed field mice and black racer snakes.  They took some getting used to.  But, so far no black racers have been inside the shack and the mice are pretty cute.  Hardy hikers can trek out over a strenuous
sandy path called Snail Road but there are signs requesting they keep their distance from the shacks.  Of course there’s always a few peeking over the dunes or some who just walk right up to the door.  But for the most part they are only curious and respectful.  The past year the Trust has erected a driftwood fence so the Dune Tour isn't staring right into Eurphoria's window. 
It looks pretty spooky looking out the back of the shack, but serves its purpose.  Crazy artists live here. 

I love what Cheryl Strayed says (author of Wild) about being in nature and spending time alone in nature.  

"I really think that being in nature is a basic human need that we have. It gives us perspective because, when you walk into the woods, or walk through the desert or sit by a river, you realize that you're only one thing in the great order of things. … I know for certain that I myself get incredibly bound up in very minor, ridiculous, temporary conundrums. And obviously there's nothing wrong with that. I think we have to get bound up in those things or else we couldn't get our kids to school on time. But if you only live in that realm, you are missing out on something that's essential and illuminating.  Do you think it makes a difference that people undertake journeys alone? 

I think that there is a wonderful thing that can happen if you're with one other person or your family or a group of friends. … You face these challenges together, you see these beautiful things together. It's a shared experience that you forever have that bonds you. I feel like everyone should get to have that experience. I also think that it's really something else to be alone because there is nobody to buffer the experience between you and the world, there is nobody to lean on in hard times, there is nobody to distract you from your loneliness or your thoughts. … But some kind of particular strength rises out of doing it all on your own."

As I mentioned earlier, the jeep road is locked except to those few families who have shacks and to Art’s Dune Tours.  There’s an air horn and a red flag hanging in the rafters if I were to need help.  That’s given I could climb up to get it and hang it outside.  The theory being that Art or some other dune dweller would hear or see it and come check on you.  There’s also spotty cell service from certain dune tops and bunk tops as well as a notebook listing Euphoria’s coordinates if one needed to give that info to the Coast Guard and/or Park Service-- if one could only reach the Coast Guard/Park Service.     

While preparing a delicious iron skillet breakfast I survey the galley for provisions.  The camp toaster is my favorite apparatus pictured here.  

 I actually packed one but Euphoria is fairly well stocked and already had one.  There’s even a vintage 70’s orange soup pot that will be perfect for curry vegetable soup later on.  All of the shacks are special, but this one seems to have some extra touches that make it even more charming. For instance, the paper towel rack has a fishing sinker weight that keeps the towels from blowing. 

The roof shingle nails that came through the ceiling are creatively concealed with wine corks. 

And someone has hung an old snail fossil on the door and a rusty nameplate.  

I’ve seen two marsh hawks fly over and hundreds of tree swallows gathering the last berries of the season.  After breakfast I go in search of the cranberry bogs scattered in the Province Lands. 

I pass the compass grass which gets its name from the way the wind causes the grass to swirl around in perfect circles like the way an old-fashioned drawing compass works. 

It’s amazing what grows in sand.  The cranberries are plentiful and ripe.  I snitch pocketfuls. 

They say you can dig a hole here and quickly reach water, which is what the coyotes do when they get thirsty.  Red foxes have actually taken over since the coyote is no longer protected here.  One night in town while walking back to my guesthouse, I ran into a fox who was much more intent on catching mice than paying attention to me.  We walked along for several yards together.  At the Provincetown Pilgrim’s Monument Museum a male kit curls up right outside the door every day at 4pm. He seems to like posing for the cameras.

I can already tell the week is going to zoom by.  The days feel shorter in the northeast and this time I only have the shack for one week.  Last year, I lucked out and had two weeks because someone cancelled at the last moment.  Now for that novel I came here to work on…

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