We have owned our secluded cabin near a lake in Northern Idaho for 3 years now. Access is boat in only. It’s a quiet, serene, and peaceful place. It’s surrounded by trees – cedars, red fir, white fir, cottonwood. In the mornings, the suns filters through the branches into a spot we have cleared that we call the Cathedral. In the middle is a fire pit with an old porch swing on one side, wedged between two trees. The morning birds sing a continuous song, and you can breathe in the forest smells of loam and evergreens.
Your mind can cease its clatter and clutter in the stillness of our property. It’s so still at times I can hear nothing but by heart beating. We cherish the occasional deer sighting and laugh at the comical large red-headed woodpeckers at play. Gray and white bunnies romp up and down the rocky hill that boarders us. Our dog, Cooper, chases squirrels all day long.
Are you getting the picture? Sound like a place you would want to live?
It might not be what you expected, as I have discovered over the last six weeks of living here full time while our new house is being built.
Sometimes the things you enjoy so much can become a prison of sorts.
After a few weeks of living here I started to notice a certain kind of anxiety come over me from time to time. A slight state of depression. I didn’t know what it was at first, but then figured it out.
I felt trapped by all the trees and quiet. Yes, all the things I love about this place were bringing me down. I couldn’t see out! I would walk down to the water every once in a while, but it wasn’t enough.
Isn’t that the way it goes sometimes? Our heart’s desire can be our undoing if we don’t stand back and get perspective. We must be able to see out – to see what lies beyond the trees, look past our cocoon of peace and serenity, and know that we can’t get too comfortable in the woods.
Many people tell me that I’m so lucky to have a secluded, quiet, inspiring place to write. But to be truthful, I find it more difficult to write here. The peaceful atmosphere is not enough stimulus for my creative brain. Weird huh?
My realization that I need to get out of the trees more has helped my overall attitude, and soon we will be in our new home where I can get back to a more normal routine of writing and life in general.
I encourage you not to turn your sanctuary into a prison.
There are seasons for everything, and being in the trees should be respite, not confinement.
Not many of us are called to live a life of seclusion or isolation. I will enjoy the remaining weeks of my forest cathedral, and come away with a new understanding of my world outside.
Cathy Ensley says
I’ve always felt confined by trees, which is why I left the Seattle area, besides the damp climate.
Jan Cline says
True, Cathy. They just tend to close in on you – especially when they surround your cabin on all sides! I think a lot of people must feel that way.