we’ve had it in mind for a while to revise our path through the back acreage (the wayback), so that it makes a loop around the north and south boundaries, rather than slicing through the center. there are some delicate ecological areas we’d like to stop foot traffic through, and it is a nicer walk with a better view from the edges. true of so many things in life, that.
this turned out to tie in nicely to one of my major projects for this year: fixing the fire circle. the fire circle has rather accidentally become commonly used as a thoroughfare, rather than a desination. like all of the other ritual spaces, it really ought to be a place one walks to, rather than through. the constant foot traffic has combined with flood irrgation of the whole wayback to create permanently and dangerously uneven footing throughout the theoretical dance ground. it’s unsafe to dance on presently — grown up in tall dry grasses, lumped and ridged with sun-baked clay forms of muddy footprints from the last two growing seasons. a total mess, in other words.
at the retreat this year, i finally figured out what my first steps were in solving the problem. and sunday, i got started on making that a reality.
starting condition: stuff everywhere inside the circle, creating a confused, boundary-less space, and a very clear walking path through the middle, created by inattention and habit rather than mindfulness, and clearly perpetuating itself.
it’s now possible to see what the space is *supposed* to be when you walk into it.
next task: obliterating the walking paths. first, we’ll berm the inside of that stump-ring, a nice high solid clay berm, to keep flood water out and create another layer of clear boundary. we’ll work on this structure until it fully functions to keep out the flood water. then, we’ll remove the grasses, which are not friendly-to-dance-on grasses, and begin layering the entire circle with clay, until we have created a level surface to dance on. I will build up the fire ring if needed during this process. when we’ve achieved a nice dance ground, we’ll mulch it, much like Crawford does up at Zuzax, to protect the surface and discourage plant growth.
while i worked on the fire circle, our intern Jaime worked on the path looping the back property. when i’d finished the circle, i joined him, working on the north path while he worked on the south path, consulting occasionally to clarify exactly where we were going. since we were working in the absence of direct input from the other Stewards, some of the work needs to be revised to align with their input, but it is mostly complete now.
and it’s a fine new path.