Chris drives the car. Niki sits shotgun. I’m in the back. We’re all hunching over to peer out the window, confirming that, yes, we really are driving straight for the ominous looking storm clouds on the horizon. Good thing we’d packed a thermos full of tea. This is my first time pitching in to work on Glen Tui.
We arrive. We meditate in the eaves of the little hut. Despite the work yet to do, the hut is already a loveable place – brilliantly simple, cozy, strong. Chris tells a story about a foot of snow that had fallen during one visit. I get excited thinking about stoking the soon-to-be-installed-stove during winter’s bone, snow blanketing the landscape outside.
We check on the trees. They’re doing great. We start planting more. I’m realising how much thought and effort and mistakes and solutions have taken place here to work out this streamlined system that keeps our saplings safe from hungry sheep and gale force winds.
The work feels great. Satisfying. Niki is patient and gracious as she explains everything. Chris drives metal stakes into the ground. They’ll become a new fence line. So much work. So much dedication.
When it rains we head inside to put up gib. Chris instructs. I get to wield power tools, drill a few screws, and feel that sense of satisfaction that comes with constructing something. Something that will shelter my fellow Bodhisattvas.
My work is a drop in the bucket, but I feel part of this place now. A couple of those screws holding the ceiling up were put there by me, and all the other ones were put there by my friends. That’ll be something for me to smile at one night when I’m nodding off in my sleeping bag.