The snow came in one furious blizzard. I drove home from the farm that night at 40 kms, making the journey three and a half hours in a surreal whirl of white flakes and head lights. Cars pulled over or on their sides in ditches. Tensely gripping the wheel, hunched forward. I turned off the radio when I realized the news was only making me feel worse and listened to the wipers. Oil field trucks speeding past coating my windshield in slush. I was so relieved to get home to a brightly lit house and Darby practicing piano.
Luka’s going to stay at home till we open the show. It’s too busy and crazy for her to keep up with me here and she doesn’t like being cooped up in the cabin. She made this clear by tearing all her bedding into tiny pieces, something she has only done twice before in the three years she’s lived with us.
After a day to re-coop, I drove back to the farm the next morning long before dawn for the second week of rehearsals. Judas Priest Sad Wings of Destiny and black-as-fucking-metal coffee keeping me focused on the drive back, rising my spirits up for the brutal, cold weather ahead.
Week two we transition the show out of the wood heat rehearsal hall and into the forest and fields. The winds came screaming all day from the south. -21 Celcius. There is no time to lose when making theatre under the gun. We took a break and all clustered around the wood stove in the cookshack. Kim looked at me with his ice blue eyes and frost melting off his beard “How do we keep convincing ourselves that this is a good idea?!” I laughed, my face numb and frozen, fingers defrosting and aching as I tried to write a schedule change on the chalk board.
Yesterday it was only -15 C, the sun was out and the winds were calm. We were rehearsing scene three in the asparagus field, near Jason’s old hitching post. Alex was practicing his Cree pow wow dance atop the knoll, carefully footing over the ice. Cheri, Mohawk nation, standing next to me in her Skokomina headdress, both of us squinting into the sun watching Alex slowly spin with his arms outstretched. She turned, almost clocking me with the beak and smiling said “It’s times like these I can’t believe this is my job.”