We’re putting together a sauna kit at Birdsong this week, or I should say, I have some guys putting it together for me. Fingers crossed that they show up today to keep working on it. What you see above are the inside walls, after which a waterproof membrane and exterior cladding go on before I can get my electrician to come over and wire the heater. If all goes well I’ll have a sauna by the weekend, if not, then I have to talk to my friend who I hired to do the job again. He’s been delinquent on the whole project – a two day job stretched to seven and counting. We’ll see what happens next.
Given the cold snap the last few days I am really looking forward to a winter with a dedicated warm room! (And summers, coming back from ocean swims to a heated sauna also). We decided to go with an electric heater rather than wood due to the convenience factor, and also because in the summer, burning wood is really frowned up here. Even though it would be technically legal, the smell of woodsmoke upsets people out during drought and fire season (for good reason). The heater we chose is a traditional (not infrared) sauna heater, which handles water so we can sauna wet or dry.
Besides this, things have been a bit low key here lately. My husband, Brian has been away longer than normal – he usually goes to the city for work Tuesday to Thursday, but because of a work trip in between he’s away for eleven days straight. I’m okay with the time apart until about day five, when I feel like it’s time for him to be home. As a result I’ve been in a subdued, weird headspace since the weekend. When we are apart for too long I start to think about what my life would be like without him – and that just freaks me right out. I don’t write a lot about my marriage here, but my partner is one of the greatest things about my life, an unexpected fluke of a meeting in my mid-thirties that has resulted in entirely different pathways in my life and my brain. And so. Brian comes home on Thursday, and then things around here will feel right again.
We’re hitting that time on the island when things slow down, even with the Christmas fairs and so on. A lot of people leave around now to go south, and all the summer people are gone by mid-October. If it wasn’t for the neighbour blowing leaves next door my ‘hood would be utterly silent right now. I suspect that’s also part of my weird feelings these last few days – as much as I love this time of hibernation, it’s also a shift to darker, quieter days. I’m feeling the weight of that today for some reason, wanting to curl up and skip my early evening yoga class even though it’s probably best that I don’t. Probably best I do the things that get me out of my house a little bit every day so I don’t get too alone in all of this wintry space.
12:50 and the guys have not come back to work on the sauna today. So typical of workers here (to not show up, to show up late, to botch half a job and then walk away from it). I’ll cross my fingers that they come back and finish it tomorrow!
A yoga instructor of mine once described winter solstice as the time of “maximum contraction” for us in the northern hemisphere. It has resonated with me ever since. Everything is drawing inward against cold and darkness. It will be so nice to have your sauna up and running – and until then the cold is like a breath held after the exhale, balanced and waiting to tip again toward fullness. Nice to read your update this afternoon – sending winter greetings and a hug your way as we tilt toward the moment of maximum contraction…