Pumpkin Seed Winter Garden (what I did on my winter vacation)

Team spirit is a commendable character trait. Those who can rally a cause, engender inclusivity and be a force for the common good have my respect and admiration. They appear to be comfortable and thrive in the swirl at the center of the mix. My inclination is to gravitate to the edges where I can be engaged to a degree but only be loosely affiliated.

Attending the Dummerston town meeting is an annual reminder of my low tolerance for group activity. I was glad to be a part of yesterday’s local legislative rituals but even happier to be let loose at the end of proceedings. I see the day as a microcosm of my life in general. To accomplish the work I do requires cooperation with others, there are client wishes to serve and excavation partners to coordinate with, but most of the time spent on a project is in solitary pursuit of a goal to manifest a personal desire.

There’s a certain satisfaction in doing something yourself that can’t be achieved in any other way. It’s not that other satisfactions have less strength or value, they’re just different. Each and every stone laid in the creation of the Pumpkin Seed garden enclosure passed through my hands. I say that with pride but also in the full knowledge that a team of wallers under my direction and following my design could have built the structure to a high standard without my lifting a finger. So, for me, it’s not the final result that distinguishes the piece, it’s the process I went through in the past few months to get it there. The daily figuring-out of what needs to happen next and how to get it done under the prevailing field conditions is what the Seed is made of in my mind’s eye.

Until the spring thaw, an image in my mind is all I have to hold of the installation. On the windward side of Mount Monadnock, falling and drifting snow continues to obscure the Seed. It’s been pretty funny to have a project disappear as it’s growing. What were once head-height, free standing walls are now just a line of stones atop a sea of white. I know what I’ve done. Come May, I’ll see what I did.