My friend and I hike around his 160 acrea homestead. We have the current owners permission to explore and paint for the day. An empty writing studio sits quietly high on the side of a hill guarded by golden aspen. The creek where he gathered water is below the collection of buildings near the remains of the old Valdez trail. Hidden remnants of an ancient bridge gave up it’s timbers for his cabin. He talked about that bridge in his book. My friends sharp eyes spied it.
It was a fried ice cream kind of day, hot and cold at the same time. Sharp biting autumn wind calmed into warmness by sunshine.
We walk around the small collection of treasured buildings. A great American writer made these well worn paths. John Haines. He built these small buildings. Wrote and watched seasons pass here. His ashes were carefully placed at the top of the hill. His voice is in the aspen leaves rustling in the wind, whispering his poetry
We spend hours painting and listening and letting sunshine take away the chill of the autumn.