retreat in the woods

March 22, 2008 at 9:25 pm (beauty, history, innocence, longing, simplicity)


i don’t know what it is about this painting…

it reminds me of places i visited as a child. my grandmother had a small cabin in the woods by a river. i used to love to visit her there. the smell of the mountain air so fresh and crisp, and the smell of her big fluffy quilts packed away in the winter.

i was scared to sleep there. it was very dark at night and i could here the hum of the generator, tucked into bed with one of my brothers and a small dog.

my family sold the land when i was still small. i remember how depressed my father was and find myself wondering why they did it. i think my mother wanted some spending money.

now with my own children i find myself pining over that little cabin. it would be so wonderful to have a place like that to retreat to. i would love to take the kids up to the mountains to pick wild flowers and wade in the ice cold river.

i think my parents are so foolish to have cast off such beauty without thought for the future. it’s one of many things i grieve more intensely as i age.

lately i wonder if i’m one of those people who’s going to be marked with bitterness over choices i made, how casually i passed on opportunities to be bigger and better.  will i carry a dark heart forever when i think of my family and the squandered legacy?

it could be that i’m tired as anyone with small children tends to be. the state of our country is so depressing right now. i look for a place to retreat to and find nothing. i’ve been following the election, hoping that maybe someone can get in there and make this place better. the whole thing is so ugly, i can’t look anymore.

did i mention i grew up in a very political family? it left me with a terrible attitude about the whole dirty business. children who are pushed to adult matters sometimes get turned off for a long time. others take on the family business. i guess i’m coming back into involvement slowly.

nature seems the place of purity, far from the manipulations of men. now when i go to nature, i stay in uncomfortable hotels, trying to relax and remember why i came.

oh for a little cabin in the woods!  maybe more than the cabin, i’m longing for a purity of heart, the belief that people are good and there is enough for all of us.

someday, i’ll make my fortune and the first thing i’m going to do is find my little retreat…humble and sweet, a tiny patch of heaven in the middle of nowhere.  that’s my bliss.



  1. Michelle (artscapes) said,

    I love that painting too….
    I agree that nature retreat often bring crowds and development these days. There is a forest trail a 20 minute drive from here that I often visit to find peace. The outer loop is often empty because it is an 8 km commitment. I realized that I have not been in over a year…. and how I long for the peace as well.

  2. Susan from UK web developers said,

    About that cabin… My grand-grand parents lived in country. They had a large house and a large garden. My grand mother with her brother did not want to sell it when they had the opportunity, because they wanted to be there and go there during the summer. But later every year burglars robed the house and when they had nothing to steel, they steeled every metal and sold it. Now it has almost no value and nobody wants to do there anything (even one of my grandmothe´s brother´s child rents it to some people who even sell bricks from the parts of the house). It is horrible.
    So sometimes it is better to sell houses or even cabins… or it might end up like my case…

  3. fallenwoman said,

    this makes me sad! and it’s true, i witnessed some serious decay before the land got sold. if my family still owned it, i’d probably have a ton of student loan debt to repay. i’m pretty sure that land helped fund my education…

    still, i’ve always been a dreamer. it keeps life from getting too real, too sharp.

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