Fear, trust, and improvisation: the stubborn song of Wesley Nichols

It’s 11:30 on a frigid Tuesday evening in February; a modest two-story farmhouse shudders slightly in the stiff wind. The familiar glow of a light left on in the kitchen and the smoke rising silently from an ancient chimney offers comfort and security to the Musician—guitar case in hand—pausing silently before the Home’s old stone steps. The promise of burning wood and warm blankets taunts his senses for a moment, but a dogged determination sets his feet in motion toward the tree line.

An eighth of a mile beyond the farmhouse, uphill, sits a partially insulated cabin with no electricity or running water. It is here that the Musician, Wesley Nichols, calls Home, where he finally drops down his guitar and goes about building the fire that will keep him warm enough not for a full night’s rest, but for what will be a succession of cat naps.

“I have to get up every two and a half or three hours to put more logs on the fire,” Wesley explains. “It’s about having personal responsibility and accountability for how comfortable you are in your own home.”