I have an office job…in the middle of the woods.
I am a year-round resident of Jawbone Flats. It is winter, which means no school groups, workshops, or cabin renters. It does mean the occasional hearty hiker. But mostly, it’s just my four coworkers and me.
Without the kiddos around, my job is mostly at my desk…and what a view from this desk! Adjacent to my desk I have a tall window that serves as a portal to happenings around Jawbone. This winter I have seen:
- Pouring rain. So much rain. Good thing I have an inside job.
- SNOW! Fresh snow on the conifers! My eyes are glued to the window, and my Minnesota roots are clawing to the surface wanting to play. Why do I have an inside job?
- A snow-woman. Snowmen are so overdone. As the only female residents in Jawbone, Maysa and I thought we’d even things up by creating a majestic snow-woman.
- A giant snow pyramid. With a few feet of snow as prime building material, Simon built a towering pyramid made of snow bricks. Unfortunately, the snow turned to rain, the pyramid was left incomplete, and it slowly began to melt away. If you hike through Jawbone today, you will find remnants of what once was, like ruins of a great dynasty.
- maybe once a week – from 9am to noon – and only in my cabin. On these special days, I can expect my coworkers to stop by with a random question and stay for an hour, often sitting directly in the sun rays on my floor. On sunny and warm mornings (oh boy!) I take my office outside and soak up some vitamin D.
- A live outdoor concert. On one of these sunny mornings, I see Brian jamming out on the keyboard – in the snow – with a beam of sunshine shining down on him like a spotlight. I also see a couple hikers pass by, each with a giant grin as they too are privy to this rare moment.
- Most of the time I see nothing but that gorgeous mountain view. There are only five of us caretaking the place, after all, and we are in the quiet of winter. I have come to find solace in the nothingness.
Winter is coming to a close, however. Spring is in the air now. Soon our residency will double with seasonal staff returning. Soon I will see a constant stream of people – hikers, renters, students, staff – passing by my window. Part of me feels hesitant; I don’t want our peaceful winter to end. But I believe that Opal Creek is meant to be shared. I do look forward to stepping away from my desk and leading students through Jawbone Flats, smiling at my window as I, too, pass by.