Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Story

Wise men are supposed to go into the wilderness and find their wisdom.  Right?  I believe that wisdom is only gained by the act of coming back.  

Yesterday, the day before Valentine's Day, we went out to our land for the first time since the snow began to melt.  We could see the typography so clearly under all the trees with the snow fall.  We measured and contemplated our house site and shared a family moment before we scurried back to our warm rental house.

I was lost in thought as well because Christi had asked me to write a story for her for Valentine's.  It is important to me to make something for her, but a story seemed inadequate.  She is my every heroine and my every story these days.  It is so hard to make up something, when our lives seems so intertwined in our story together.  From the moment I met her, we knew both had a dream of escaping to the wilderness and making our way.  Our marriage proposal was on a backpacking trip, and our first land together is this acreage in the forest of the Ozarks.  But we are not to get lost here.  We intend to make it our place, our home, our homestead.  In that way, we are coming back from the wilderness and setting our hearth solidly on terra firma.

In college, I had asked a friend to write a story for me.  We were to do a collaborative project with his Literary skills and my Architecture.  A section of woods was our site and my building was to be an arboretum.   His story journeyed into the woods and set various characters against each other and apart in their isolation.  Though my initial idea, the collaboration failed mainly because I was thrown back by the power of his story.  As an undergraduate, I was sorely unprepared to work with someone else's talent and ability to see the wilderness in such a way.  Architecture projects in school rarely dealt with such issues.

Our best story was that my wife Christi and I had met before.  She was an architecture student, and I was a friend of her professor and guest juror on her studio review.  I remember her excellent project and she remembered a particularly difficult architect.  Surely she didn't mean me?!?  Luckily, we did not remember each other, for we were not ready to meet.

I was lost in my own wilderness.  My career was important and I spent my time developing my business.  Still, I would see a couple sitting on a public city park bench, oblivious to the world.  They too were lost, but lost in each other. 

When we finally met and shared wine in an urban wine bar, enjoying the pleasures of city life, we instantly began sharing our dreams of getting away.  I wanted to get back to backpacking.  She wanted to build a straw bale house in some remote location. We now dream together, lost in each other. Soon we shall build this house and strive to make a house into a home for us, our children and our animals. I shall never want to end that story, for which this blog serves as our chronology.  We have found everything we need.  Happy Valentines my love.

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