Monday, October 29, 2007
Little Cabin in the Woods...
I am sitting in a cabin in the woods. It is the most glorious thing I have done in months. It is not glamorous, it is not neat and pristine clean, it is not silent, but it is beautiful. As I sit here I can hear the sound of a bird twirping, several actually. I can hear the wind blow through the trees and I can hear the crackling of the fire.
You will not get to read this until I am home and back to the grind; but for now, imagine me in this little cabin in the woods. And when I say in the woods, I am not exaggerating. It is in the middle of the woods. I know there are other cabins around here, in fact I can see them if I look, but they are not very close, and they are hidden by the trees. They blend. Houses don’t blend anymore, ever notice that?
Nature is not the focal point anymore, brick and stone is. Instead of fields of flowers, we have houses coming up out of the ground in rows like planted tulips. I never thought about how unnatural that is until I noticed how these cabins are so nicely situated in their surroundings, facing the most beautiful thing to look at, and designed to blend in and not stand out.
Even the inside of this cabin fits in with its surroundings. There is so much wood, so many logs on the walls and making up the staircase and the banister and the mantle. The fabrics are earth tones; even the fridge has been hidden behind a wood cabinet. I’m not talking about one of those wood paneled refrigerators that you find in those hoity-toity houses. (I am not trashing them, I’d totally have one if we had the money, and the huge kitchen to put it in) This is a giant wood box that the fridge sits it. You have to open two doors to get into the fridge. I need this at home. You have to work twice as hard to get into it!
I noticed something when I sat outside yesterday in the hammock. You can hear the wind coming sometimes a good 30 seconds before you feel in when you’re in the woods.
To some of you this might not be a big revelation, but to me it was. I grew up in Kansas, not a place known for its trees, then I moved to DFW, again, not a place known for its treed acreage; tulip houses-yes, forests-no. Not to mention, very rarely am I surrounded by silence. In fact I think I can probably count on one hand the times in my adult life (with kids) when I have been surrounded by complete silence. D had taken all the kids on a hike, and I stayed back at the cabin. There I was, lying in the hammock, doing my bible study, when I heard something. What was it? Rain coming? Should I get up and head for the cabin. I didn’t want to get the bible study book and my bible all wet. But it didn’t really look like rain. Was it a car coming down the dirt road? It didn’t sound like that either. Then I felt it and saw the tops of the trees moving over my head. Wind. It made me laugh that a 30ish, woman had never noticed that you can hear the wind coming.
Here is something else I have learned about myself this weekend. I so want a wood burning stove in my house! I know I live in TX, and probably only twice a year would it be cold enough to use, but I am in love! You can shut the doors and still see the pretty fire; you can open the doors and feel the heat. And the best part? You can hear the wood popping. I love to hear the wood popping and see the wood actually burning. We used to have a gas fireplace in our old house, and it was so disappointingly anti-climactic. You turn a key, flip a switch, and wham, instant fire. But no crackle, no wood moving around as it burns, only a fake looking fire and the hiss of the gas. Even though I love a good fire, I rarely lit it because it was just such a sad little attempt at fire. It only treated the eye; a fire should be a treat for all the senses. Well, except taste, you wouldn’t want to taste a fire, but you get the point.
Tomorrow, we go home. Tomorrow, we drive 6 hours back to our little house that is lined up on a street with other little houses just like it; surrounded by very little beauty. I must go back to my house that is too dirty, too convenient, and too full of stuff we don’t really need. And I have to leave the trees, and the wood burning stove. It’s sad really. But I’ll tell you something. Beauty is important. Sometimes in making our lives more convenient, we destroy the beauty. Wood burning stoves are messy, you have to clean them out, and they create ash and mess. But sometimes it is worth a little more hassle for a lot more beauty. Sometimes you appreciate your things more when you have less of them. When you only have 3 pots and 6 glasses and plates, you take better care of them.
In order to make my life easier, I’ve cluttered it up with junk. I want to live more simply and enjoy more beauty. While I have enjoyed every moment of this vacation, I am realizing that I need to create more simplicity and look for more beauty in my every day life. I know this is vacation talking and when I go home all the things that I don’t need here will suddenly seem so important again. But I hope I can take something from this weakened. I pray God will show me ways to see the beauty in my home, and my family, and the one big oak tree in my yard. Maybe I just need to stop and smell the roses in my own backyard a little more. And throw out stuff, lots and lots of stuff.