My mother was a genius, an artist, a writer and she spent 11 years hanging out in the woods.
Unfortunately she experienced many tragic events in her life that resulted in a downward spiral. Unable to work, live alone and care for herself she came to live with our family while we were raising our children. Mom was easily agitated by the noise and chaos within our home that goes along with the day-to-day rambunctiousness of young children. Our one acre wood lot became her safe haven. With our dogs at her side she spent hours, well actually years – creating a magical place in our woods. She dug up the noxious weeds, planted scented ground covers, pruned trees, built miniature Inuksuks from stones that she unearthed, dangled beads and wires from trees, and maintained a half-dozen or so bird feeding stations. Mom had several storage places and baskets where she would keep her tools; clippers, snipers, twine, flowers seeds. She referred to these places as Stations – outfitted with a chair or hammock, a place where she could rest every once in a while. One particular Station was even outfitted with a makeshift lean-to where she could stay dry during a rain shower.
One winter mom took ill and was unable to return to her woods. The wind blew over the lean-to and her collection of items remained untouched until I was able to gather them the following spring.
It was a sad time, but I’m happy knowing that we were able to offer her a place where she was able to escape, other than from the chaos within our house.