A Moment of Warmth
It was a place, a fortress, lost in time.
The road changed from pavement to gravel, signaling our arrival to the station. The dull roar that the vehicle made on the gravel drowned out almost everyone’s conversation. That continuous roar, almost like a steady wind, created an entirely different place.
We suddenly came out of the trees and then we arrived. I had lost concentration and the station melted into the trees.
The station was hidden in the landscape it studied.
We retrieved our gear that was stored in the main station. An impressive stone structure in its own right, it dwarfed the cabins that stood in its shadow along the meadow clearing. Hidden in the trees, the cabins looked akin to nestled burrows in nature.
The wind, which had been relatively tame seconds before began to howl, ripping through the meadow, throwing snow everywhere. In a small moment the scene was lost in snow.
I jogged over to the first set of cabins near the edge of the clearing trying to get out of the wind. I was surprised. What I thought was one of two cabins turned out to be a set of almost a dozen hidden in the tree line. I approached one, raised on a thin concrete plinth, trying to float above the rising snow.
As I reached the edge of the plinth, I was greeted by a small two step stair, and came under a small awning. That’s when I realized that the wind was mainly blocked by the barrier the awning provided. The space was not large, but just by cutting the wind, I felt invited to the structure.
I wanted to know more. I reached for the door.
It was unlocked and I stepped inside.
The outside, which had been a warm wood shell, revealed an entirely different interior. The uniform exterior morphed into a repetitious bay, spaced by… pallets? They were pallets, things forgotten and discarded to be left to the elements, which were now providing the character of a sheltering space.
Light flooded in from a large bank of windows that ran the length of the cabin, falling and breaking upon the rough brick floor and volume that rose vertically through the space. I leaned to the left and saw that the brick tower was actually a bathroom. I stepped inside.
The space was very narrow, but all through the space, the shadow of tree branches danced along the tall walls, radiating down from a large skylight overhead. The opening looked as if were simply open, the edge of the volume blending into the light shining through.