We’re home now from California.
Strangely, the reality of having constructed a dry stone wall right on the Pacific coast hasn't really sunk in yet.
Maybe, over the next few months, my trying to describe to people the beauty of where we were working, I'll be able to grasp the whole thing better myself. The significance of the experience, the drama, the ‘thereness’ of it all, perhaps will be better realized as I continue to try to look back on the amazing experience it seems we had there.
Just to think about it - we built a permanent structure inches from a 70 foot cliff overlooking a crashing ocean below. We literally ‘overlooked’ so much of it ( both opposite meanings of the word ) during the two weeks we were mostly concentrating on getting this pretty unusual stone fence built during the time we had allotted to complete the project.
I wonder now, did others, perhaps a long time before us, building any of the old wooden livestock fences I’ve seen along these coastal regions, also ‘overlook’ the immense import of it all? Did they stand there in amazement a lot of the time as they were working, or did they mostly work on as usual, as they dug holes for the wooden posts and hammered the rails and nailed the pickets, close to the edge of the sea?
And then I think, what about all the people who have worked building other stone structures in spectacularly beautiful parts of Britain and Ireland ? We’ve all seen the photos of bridges built over wild tumbling streams - and beautiful walls jutting out from fantastically magical landscapes - and stoned terraces tracing contours of breathtaking beauty. Can we just assume the people who built these structures were able to appreciate where they were?
Did they all, returning at the end of the day, or the end of the job, say “ Wow, what a seriously cool thing that was ! ”
Did they talk of it years later, recounting, almost reliving for the first time, what a powerful, exceptional experience building in that scenic place back then, was?