If a shelter is a full-stop, a cairn is a comma in the walking journey - a marker of a high pint of experience along a walk route.
(Chris Drury- Land Artist).
Nipping, bright, clear, sharp day that makes skin on face taught with cold. Nostrils filter the smell of cold and the sky is far, far above - lofty and lifting in the high-pressure band. Everything is rising after the long, hard winter. Air, sap, soul gently ascend from the earthy bounds of winter.
I walk along the wooded valley path, the stream curling and meandering with wide sweeps down below me. This is a very familiar path, walked many, many times over 15 years with my dog. It is a secret, hidden valley of rock, cliff and wood - the hunting dog's delight. Grottos of icicles hang on the north - facing rocky cliff, untouched by the sun.
I have a vision to construct a stone cairn at the foot of the waterfall and build a fire within, taking part in a dynamic dance between falling water and rising fire.
My assistant, David Naylor, and I, heft about large, heavy stones on an icy and slippery streambed. Each stone eventually seems to find it's own seat on the cairn. After turning and twisting, inverting and gently shifting each one, it comes to rest in its new home.
The construction - approx. 3' diameter and 4' height is of the streambed. It blends totally with its natural surround, and is hardly discernable. Yet, it is solid, material, sturdy and a new entity on the landscape.
Nine days later.
The cairn sits.
The stones are cold and damp at the head of the valley.
Today is a cloud cover day, and Hazel is here to light the fire.
The Fall and The Rise.
The perpetual downward travel of water
Being its determination to seek out the lowest point,
Filling every crevice,
Covering every crack,
Merging with everything in its path.
And the ascension of fire,
Leaping for the air,
Drinking the air,