Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Working seasonally at TMI has provided me with many things, not the least of which is the opportunity to type the words you are about to read. As great as my current situation is the moments that stand out with real clarity as I ponder my comings and goings are the arrivals. Always filled with anticipation, energy, and a hint of nerves, that first drive up Sawmill Run to 18 Woodlands Way has also never failed to bring with it a touch of the unexpected.

In the fall of ‘08 I came with no expectations and apparently not much sense of direction. Soon after entering what I now know as our driveway, I meandered past the observatory and nearly to the Hawthorn grove at Backridge before wandering back down to what I was sure were the yurts. Little did I know at the time that Daniel Taylor’s was not the yurt I was looking for. Eventually I was greeted in the proper parking lot by Brett Bjorkman (who happens to be arriving again soon for another season - bringing things around in a full circle sort of way).

The spring of ’09 came and after arriving late the night before a course’s beginning I awoke to eight inches of freshly fallen snow covering the roof of my humble van home (also known as “The Whale”, a retired but still faithful early 80’s Ford Econoline). It was a wet and cold hike that day with a slightly astounded group of 5th graders, but the pictures of that snow-covered early morning still resonate.

Ah yes, the fall of ’10. I rolled up to the Earth Shelter to see a certain burgundy Toyota Tacoma’s rear axle hanging off the edge a rock retaining wall - some five feet off the ground and surprisingly supported by nothing more than the bucket of our newly purchased Kubota tractor. All was well in the end, and with the help of a come-a-long, several hi-lift jacks, and the ingenuity of nearly an entire staff, the Tacoma was restored to its terrestrial home.

The voyage can be good, the adventure itself memorable, and the departure sad, but for me - at this place - the arrivals will always stand out.

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