|Building a cobble patio, rebuilding a sense of worth.|
Our backyard has a fire pit. The flat our house and fire pit sit in is carved into the side of an esker, a long snake-like ridge of stones and dirt deposited by the retreating glaciers of the last ice age. The fire pit sits on the raw sandy earth surrounded by picnic table and suitable sitting stumps. It's always been comfortable but now I needed that space changed.
|My inspiration came from our 2011 stay at Lutrell's Tower on The Solent, facing the Isle of Wight.|
|We had a magnificent view from the tower and a beautiful cobble patio where I lounged and read books in the uncharacteristically hot and sunny weather of an English autumn.|
I ordered up trucks, there's nothing like ordering up big trucks to rebuild the shattered ego of a man. Loads of crushed rock, sand and cobbles appeared as giant hills in our back yard. Shortly after the two little girls next door - "I'm five years old, and I have some skis and they are red. I like baseball and that's my little sister" - arrived to investigate and claim the top of the sand pile.
|Work gets underway. A steel ring now fixes the fire in one spot. No longer a campfire that can wander about, my psychological need for a solid foundation overrules flexibility.|
But for now I take each cobble, scoop a hollow in the loose sand with my hand, and place it adjacent to the previous one, creating outlines and filling sections. It is extraordinary to me how a single cobble placed in sand will roll and slide but by placing them next to each other in the sand, not quite touching, a firm hard platform is created. What I really appreciate however, is that there is nothing bonding the sheet together beyond some sort of natural co-dependency. The patio surface is eminently flexible, forever malleable and changeable. This too is an important epiphany.
|My hubris calls down an unseasonable mid-May snowfall.|
|By the end of May I have three points nearly completed. There is satisfaction in what I have accomplished but an awareness of the size of the project I've started. Some revisions maybe necessary.|