Rain In The Garden

Thank all who asked for your concern, but the flooding is not near us so far this year. As many of you know, our little town took it in the shorts last year about this time – we were ok, the nest is very high ground. But we are surrounded by bridges and low water crossings, so getting out after heavy rains can require a few detours… or just some patience. So far so good here though, and our thoughts are with all those affected.

In moderation rain is a glorious thing, and the downpours this year still seem quite tame in comparison so far - but after 2015 there’s only so deeply I can enjoy the rain knowing what havoc it is causing elsewhere. Having seen such events up close, it’s a little different now. When the brunt of a storm misses my spot on the map there is joy but it’s tempered by the deeper understanding that somebody took it head-on and I can never un-see that first hand layer of it having seen it up close. All of this said, it has been really nice to have some decent rain around here! It’s been the only thing lacking. It was so dry for so long and, for any climate I’d have designed for my own preferences, lack of rain was the only insufficiency. It’d rain, but rarely repeatedly and rarely enough for abundance to grow and the rivers to flow. Right now everything is lush and growing and even the swath the Blanco River washed through our town a year ago has grown over green and alive into a new landscape. Life reclaims. Springtime reclaims. I’m grateful for the rain here but I will say I’m damn glad I had the outside of the workshop attended to & sealed up this spring!

The weather cycle we’ve been seeing is so much more garden friendly than in times past; in the years to come I look forward to that part of the rural country life. A small one though, high yielding but manageable. I don’t need anything taking over my life. I can’t have growing some squash turn into taking Vienna. It’s squash – it should do most of it on its own; the seed and soil have all of this figured out. I’ll just be a tool for them… that I can do! For now I’m too busy with the Wingfeather Workshop’s garden of little budding Birdsongs, seeding SD Curlees, the patiently waiting stack of lap steels, the one-off & “on the side” builds. That’s the garden around here and this is where the devotion goes. I feel like a tool being used in the process by which these instruments manifest themselves, as if there is some seed of need planted in the fertile ground of the universe and here I am somehow, sometimes a little shovel, sometimes a little hammer, here as the hands and eyes of this process. A little garden of wood and music-to-be. 

As you read this there are three in sanding, four slowly working their way through final assembly & setup (I have to keep reminding myself I can’t be at two benches at the same time – though somewhat of a force of nature at my best, superpositional bilocation is something I haven’t quite tapped yet), eight going through the layers of routing & shaping, thirteen just behind those as rough cut body blanks, and a few in the process of more advanced joining & gluing working their way towards the cut stack. And everything’s moving, everything’s getting touched on. It takes a while even once the particular order sheet gets grouped with the next little batch to begin, once we find the wood and prep & mark the planks & pieces; in here there are many layers and tasks the end player wouldn’t even know about. In fact I’d say MOST of a build is the stuff that needs to happen just to GET to the steps someone who might know what the parts are and how they go together may see as “the building process”… no, those are just the landmarks on the trip. There are lots of miles to cover between them. But that’s what a garden is, that’s what a garden does. Most of the miracle is veiled. 

So I’m going to hop back within the green walls of my destiny and carve on some wood, work on what I hope are little miracles for you, carrying to you so much more than the wood & wire and then – with YOU as the tool – helping to deliver ripples of inspiration outward to all who share in your musical moments. Have a wonderful weekend, keep those who cannot in your thoughts, but do - if it's just a little rain in the garden - go out and feel it, don't just get wet. 



Listening to: Jerry Garcia acoustic live stuff, John Scofield, Dickie Betts “Highway Call” and a lot of rain on a little tin roof.