Dumpster Day

“If you build it, they will come.” I am hearing the same ethereal message that inspired Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella to construct a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield.
My project isn’t a baseball diamond; it’s a retreat in the remote mountains of southern California. This dream has perked in my brain for decades. In 2012 the urge got strong enough and the vision got clear enough for me to get financed and start construction.
I started with a fence. It felt like I needed to create a womblike atmosphere so I put a 6 foot cedar privacy fence around the 2 acres. It worked. The feeling when I drive in the gate is that I am entering a safe haven. The land is in a little valley. The road is up a twenty foot ridge along one edge, so the fence up on the ridge creates a tall side on the container which is filled with 70 live oak trees. Where the oaks are, the water is, and a deep well brings up pristine mineral water to this oasis at 4000 feet in the first range of mountains above the desert.
What used to be a garage is in transformation. It is becoming a light-filled art studio and a service room where guests can shower and wash their clothes. Just outside will be a covered patio with a giant picnic table and electrical hook-ups. That is just the beginning.
My drawing shows twenty locations around the Big House. They are mostly tiny structures or gardens of various forms and functions. I plan to open the gates in April of this year…ambitious? Perhaps…
Yesterday, the dumpster arrived. I have only been here four years and I didn’t bring that much but now it’s too much. I compost and trek down the hill once a month with a carload of recycling but now with the construction refuse it has become necessary to get a dumpster. I am like a kid with a new toy! The urge to purge is strong and I can’t wait to put my overalls on and start packing that puppy full.
Out of chaos comes change. As I approach the pile of material that is not useful to me and prepare it to go down the hill where perhaps it will be useful to someone else I see that under the pile is a new beginning. From the cleared ground I will plant the seeds of my dream and feed them with my visions.
I am building it…will they come?
Want to know a secret? I don’t really care.

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