Sitting in the kitchen I imagine that the tree outside is attacking us, pounding its branches on the roof in rage. Fuck you industrial civilization, it pounds. There used to be forest here. Trees as tall as the cranes on the now-cleared land behind us. Now there is only metal, and dust. Now I am practically alone. The branches scratch across the metal roof. A bag of bread falls onto the floor, plastic bag crunching.
Back in the red wagon I concentrate on lighting the wood stove. I get the kindling lit, and the wind blows smoke back into the room through the chimney. Each time I think it is letting up and shut all the windows and doors another gust fills the wagon with gray smoke.
After about 45 minutes hot embers replace smoking wood, and the wind has no more smoke to blow inside. But it doesn’t matter now as fat drops of rain have in turn replaced the whirling air.
Outside the brown murk of a wet winter is starting to smirk through the bright carpet of fallen leaves. There are no more leaves on the trees, no more green. I pass the scrap metal pile on the way to the bathroom, and it looks desolate and ugly—no longer full of magic and beauty as it can be when surrounded by plants and green.
I love the short, dark days. Writing is better when it’s dark. The light reminds me of the world outside, of things I could be doing, of people I could be interacting with. The darkness erases it, leaves me along with my thoughts and the page. I build nests out of scraps of paper, lists of ideas, hastily scribbled graphs, and pencil-marked books. I wrap myself in blankets and let the crackling of the wood stove hypnotize me. It is a hibernation of sorts. I do not sleep, but I dream.