Awakening to the spirit and beauty of the northern Great Plains
Monday, November 14, 2011
Measure of a Day
I took a break from writing here while I made the transition to Campbell River for the winter. From now until mid-April I will be the Writer-in-Residence at the Roderick Haig-Brown House on the northwest edge of Vancouver Island's Campbell River.
The lead photo in today's entry shows a view of the house from the 17 acre property, with its trees in fall colours.
Roderick Haig-Brown (1908-1976) was one of Canada's best naturalist-writers, a fly-fisherman, and a strong voice for conservation in the twentieth century.
In my first day here in the house where he lived for fifty years, raising gardens, farm animals and a family of four with his wife Anne, I feel at ease in his presence, the unmistakable genius of a place long-tended with love and humility.
One of his most popular books covers a year on the land, observing his stretch of the Campbell River a mile or so above the estuary where it empties into the sea.
Measure of a Year is a rich and wonderful book, published in 1950, an early back to the land narrative about subsistence gardening and a life well lived in nature.
This is the spine of the copy I found in the room where I have begun writing my next book.
. . . And here is the title page.
The first day is ending and I am feeling a mix of excitement over the prospects of experiencing the river Haig-Brown fished and the ecology of the Pacific Northwest while I immerse myself in a new manuscript.
In the next few days I'll try to post a photo album showing some of the landscapes and birds I'm finding here, but I'll end this entry with one more shot--a picture I took of the large photo portrait I found in a hallway of this house, showing the man who loved this piece of the earth best, fishing in the river that right now is bringing Chum salmon upstream one hundred feet from where I sit.