Copyright 2017 Evelyn Zinn.
All rights reserved.
The lake I chose was way out in deep countryside. Most of the roads to it were primitive roads and in the winter time were off limits to non-appropriate vehicles. I arrived two days before the solstice. There was no one else out here. I was alone and in two feet of snow. There was a very specific way that the fires had to be laid out and set up to catch fire by a mechanism controlled from the shore. This was the piece my dad had for me. A way to safely be off the ice.
It was eerie out here. There was no wind, no winter birdsong just cold crackling silence. I had to bring the firewood with because of the snow. It took most of the two days and almost all of Winter Solstice to get everything set up. The bowl had been set dead center. I had taken a rope and made a perfect circle around it so as to be able to place the firewood and journals as perfectly as possible so that they would crack the ice and send it all to the bottom.
Part of the work was just getting enough tinder and kindling ready. My mind wandered many times during this process back to the conversation my father and I had had. Apparently my mother had tried to rekindle the relationship with him but he wasn’t having any of it. He’d found a woman who loved many of the same things he did and had introduced him to a few new hobbies. Yes my father was a craft monkey just like me.
I showed him the chest, the shelves, the entire workshop that had sprung up over the course of this. He nodded approvingly and had told me to be expect a 3D printer to arrive in the springtime some time. I could use to start making things for the store on order instead of ordering online and waiting for it to ship and arrive.
I had everything except the kindling and tinder on the woodpiles. The wind had picked up for several hours on the day of the Solstice and I watched it from my truck camper anxiously. It looked as though the weather had decided to intervene but just in the last hour that I had left, the wind died to a standstill. I’d never mastered ice running quite like I did that night or have I since. I still busted my butt at least once getting back to shore, but didn’t hesitant to hit the switch.
With a pop twenty six piles of wood sparked and ignited. The gasoline soaked pages aided. I sat down on the shore and watched, singing the song my grandfather had told me to sing. After what only seemed a few minutes the fires broke into an almost perfect circle through the ice and the piece flipped over, the bowl sliding in the dark waters below.
I watched the cracks radiate in all directions and glanced at the night time sky. The stars seemed brighter and clearer for some reason.
The next morning found me packing camp quicker than I wanted to. We had another blizzard bearing down on us and I made it back home with ten minutes before it hit to spare. Maxine ordered me into the tub before I could even speak and had a hot meal ready for me once I was out.
I told about how it went all down and she smiled at me then gestured towards her spinning wheel.
“How long will it take for everything to complete?”
“Once the clay has dissolved in the water, it’ll take three years for everything to come to fruition and wrap itself up. Nice and gentle and no one will be able to ever trace that magic back to me.”
“Will it be enough?”
“Only time will tell.”
“Time. Time is one thing that has both hindered us and aided us.”
“At least it didn’t betray us with this.”
“That leaves the last journal.”
“I don’t think so. See the person who took it I narrowed down to two individuals. One of them has vanished completely the other is so far down on their luck that I think they’re a homeless person in Denver now. Either way, we don’t have to worry about them or that journal. I’m fairly certain it’s been lost, destroyed or used for joint wrappings. Either way, it’s not a concern we should be having.”
Maxine sat back down at the spinning wheel and began to finish the bobbin.
“What about the workshop?”
“Keep it. Keep making things with it. The store now has it’s own craftmans shop.”
Maxine started laughing.
“Yes, yes that it is a good use for it. We put it together to save our cousins in magic and we shall continue to use to support our local community. I think I like this practical way of thinking.”