Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Baring All to Resident Squirrel

Big news--the wind is changing direction, causing havoc in the canopy. I'll have to consult my neighbour (self-taught expert on all Things That Matter (air, water, fire, and more)) which direction it's blowing now. The sun is also shining. Earlier, I spread out a Mexican blanket in the small meadow beside the cabin and felt the heat penetrate my bones to their very marrow.

Today was also shower day. No small feat during a water shortage. The water comes all the way from the municipal tap in Masset--16.5 km. down Tow Hill Rd. I've been hauling it home in a variety of plastic containers as our rain barrels have been dry for weeks.

An Off-the-Grid Shower:

1. Heat hauled water on wood-stove until perfect temperature
2. Pour water into coffee pot, funnel into Stearns Sun Shower (a heavy-duty plastic bag with nozzle and 9-Litre capacity)
3. Stand on chair and hang shower bag on nail jutting out from cedar log on south-side of cabin
4. Retrieve towel and undress
5. Walk outdoors to bare all to Sitka spruce, salal, huckleberry (sometimes the resident squirrel)
6. Unscrew nozzle. Feel wind on wet skin. Watch all manner of green, green leaf shimmer in the sunlight
7. If necessary to wash hair twice (and it's always necessary)--ensure to save enough water to rinse out conditioner
8. Stoke fire in woodstove. Stand in front while drying off. Enjoy smelling clean for ten minutes (the amount of time it takes to smell like woodsmoke again)

Writing news? Well, I put together a submission for the Malahat Review creative non-fiction contest. I've done a little research for a non-fiction piece set in Kalimpong, West Bengal. I've sent out another article (again) to several newspapers. It's called "Heroes of the Hills" and is about my friend Dr. Laura Louie and a volunteer project she runs in another town in West Bengal--Kurseong. This article is desperately seeking a home as there are many people in need who could potentially benefit from its publication. If anyone out there has any ideas where I could send it, your help would be much appreciated.
(update: this article has found a home--it will appear in Kyoto Journal (Spring 2011))
Thank you for reading.

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