At Small Pond the summers are crazy busy, but winter is a whole other speed: S-L-O-W. The visitors are few and far between. Sometimes we don’t change out of our pyjamas. The quiet is deep in the absence of the crickets, frogs and the buzz of artists at work and at play. In the fall we mentally prepared ourselves to “hunker down,” anticipating the long months we would spend gazing through frozen windows over fields of snow. But winter has been decidedly non-committal. Does this look like Ontario in mid-February to you?
We’ve seen hardly any snow all winter, and when it does snow it is usually gone within a day or two. Sure, it makes things more comfortable for us, but it’s bad for farmers, and probably for plenty of things in the natural world. It also makes you wonder if climate change is starting to make itself known in ways which we can no longer ignore.
During these tranquil months we’re keeping busy, including making a few improvements around the house. We just got a wood stove put into the dining room, ensuring the coziness of future winters.
I’ve been sewing some funky garlands to hang up come spring.
I’ve been visiting schools and doing shadow puppetry workshops. This last week I was at Quinte Mohawk School where I worked with four classes to tell the story of Creation. It was a very ambitious project, but a ton of fun.
Last month I spent a week in Toronto writing a new play with David Anderson. This is the fifth play we've written together. The History of Forgetting will be produced by Clay & Paper Theatre and play in Dufferin Grove Park through July and August 2012. David’s in Africa right now; we’re going to finish the play when he gets back.
I’ve also been teaching myself to play the concertina! Trust me, I’m as surprised as anybody. I’m working on playing my first song, Shepherd’s Hey. I’m practicing for about an hour every day and things are really coming along.
Meanwhile, Milé has been painting up a storm. He’s working on his last 2 paintings in a 15-painting series entitled Barnscapes.
They're oil paintings of barns and landscapes, based on his own photos taken around Prince Edward County. You’ll be able to see them in the coming months at Arts on Main gallery in Picton, and of course at the gallery here at Small Pond.
But it hasn’t been all work. We’ve been reading and watching movies and baking and visiting with friends and staying up late and sleeping in. So as slow as it is here in the winter, we manage to keep ourselves occupied and enjoy the down time; spring is just around the corner, and we'll be suitably rested to switch back into high gear.