Cobbing my cottage

Friday, 22 August 2014

Dream a Little Dream

The rain has ceased for the moment, but it has been battering these grounds for days on end now. After weeks of intense heatwave, the Finnish skies are finally pouring down on these lands, properly, almost restlessly. What it means to me is that I have something to listen to when I press my head on my pillow, pillow which only yesterday found its way into my cottage. Two days ago I helped my father to build a sleeping platform inside my little house, so I could fulfil my wish, to spend a night in my heart space before I go.

The other night, I carried a mattress and a little blanket up the builder's ladders (the wooden one I am hoping to climb up with is still needing to be built...) and snuggled down, with some celtic music and flickering candlelight. While the rain drops were falling on the skylight above me, I lied down, cozy and warm against freshly sawn wood, looking and smelling and thinking and mainly wondering. How did I get to this amazing point of existence? To be lying here, surrounded by earth, trees, forest, sky, rain - and to know that where I lie has come from my heart; through the love I have for Mother Earth and this landscape I used to play in as a child. The love, which has been transformed, with the help of my family and friends, into this muddy cottage I so love.

The candles are lit for LuontoƤiti / Mother Nature

My view for the night.
I lied there, in the Earth's womb, feeling totally in awe of how all this came to be, feeling totally grateful for Mother Earth and Universe for letting me build this place; for the lessons, experiences, help, love, struggles, compassion, interest, hard work, motivation - and tears emerged for the sheer joy of being in this place in this moment. While the sound of rain drops mixed with the sound of some strangely random elven music, I looked to my left and saw a fox's eye looking at me. Fox is my totem animal and has had a strange way of appearing to me at times when I need wisdom, self-reliance and confidence. And there it was again, looking at me, slyly smiling. Never mind that the eye was a part of the wooden rail in front of me but the energy was very strongly there. I knew I was being watched over, and it made me feel safe and joyful.

When I returned to my parents house a few hours later for a night's sleep, I gave a hug and thank you to my father and in the morning, when my mother had woken up, to her also, thanking them for the possibility of being able to build my cottage on their land and for their help in building it. I know with great certainty that this is one of the biggest personal achievement in my life, and has a great symbolic meaning to me, in form of artistic identity, my roots, my relationship with my parents, my future, my beliefs, my loves, my children and the world I want to behold, appreciate and live in.

Before I got to this point however, I had been working on this cottage for weeks, on most days, apart from some family days off. I had been mixing, plastering, boiling, smearing, stamping, measuring, experimenting, pouring, plastering a bit more, painting, getting confused, wondering, realising, sawing, nailing, lifting, dragging, digging and yet again painting. Don't ask me how many hours, as I have no answer to your question. It is better not to know. And even if I knew, I would only know the answer to a question: how many hours have you loved?

Since some of you want some proof that I actually did do some or all of the beforementioned activities, I have added some photographs below. They may be in slight random order, because my head has been in random order and my days with the mud get very mixed up, as do the hours of the clock - usually my work is interrupted by baby duties (my daughter is 14mths) or my mother asking whether I still eat food these days.

Lime plastered (with pigment) cob dragon oven

My mother helping out

My father helping out

Making mix for the earthen floor (wet cob)

So, after all of this doing, I am left with a cottage which is not finished but it is not far off from that.
I need to patch up some walls, do more painting inside and out, add some details and finish to the earthen plaster - but the main thing missing is a proper floor. I have completed the first layer of earthen floor but there is still a lot to do. The drying process took much longer than I anticipated and very soon I realised that in rainy conditions, I could easily wait weeks for the floor to dry. I don't have weeks. But I do have a place, where I can sleep and be happy. Next Summer I know this place will have a floor and after that any remaining jobs will be mere details that I can attend to whenever.

This is how I am leaving the cottage for now.

With my heart filled with love, I know anything's possible when you have faith in your idea - and so much love to carry it through that nothing can stop you. The only thing that can make something happen is you. And the only thing that can stop you making something happen is you. Next time you tell yourself an excuse why something didn't happen, look deep inside yourself and ask some real questions.

And then - Dream a Little Dream. Just like children do. Until we meet again.

With Love,

the Forest Dreamer