Occasionally, a certain odd fascination will overtake me and it will be all I can think about for weeks or months. Happens with websites, books, music, even single solitary songs. But for about as long as I can remember, I’ve had one particular wish that I could never shake - a log cabin in the woods.
I have never lived in the woods. Honestly, I don’t know much about it. I don’t think I’ve ever even stayed in a log cabin in the woods. But the whole idea appeals to me strongly just the same.
It would be a perfectly lovely place to take 3 day weekends, an ideal family holiday gathering spot, a warm and quiet retreat from town life. I picture a large fire going in the fireplace, blankets strewn across worn leather couches, mugs littering side tables and counter tops still coated in some hot chocolate residue, dim lighting, snow falling, muddy drippy boots near the door underneath damp scarves and mittens.
Wen it isn’t quite cold enough to be snuggled in the cabin, we could sit around a fire pit on the back patio in our wooden Adirondack chairs - our wool socks keeping our feet toasty warm as the firelight danced across our cheekbones.
During the day, we could go for light walks - little hikes - wonderful adventures. Reagan would be utterly fascinated by every leaf and twig and rock. She’d collect little treasures. We’d stop to watch in childlike fascination as squirrels scurried across our path. We’d point to cardinals and blue jays as they landed on branches nearby - mimicking their chirps. I’d teach her how to make a snow angel in a fresh covering of fluffy white goodness. Snow wouldn’t be an unwelcome annoyance, a travel concern, or even a reason to get out a shovel. But rather an invitation. Beckoning us to slip on the not-yet-dry mittens, scarves and hats; slide our feet back into the boots sitting in tiny puddles in the entry; run out into the crisp cool air; tilt our heads back and try to catch snowflakes on our tongue. There would be laughter.
There would be no television. There would be no music (hard to believe I just wrote those words, I know). There would be only the melodies of life - a child’s laugh, a parent’s lullaby, a crackling fire. As the evening snow drifted from the sky, we’d marvel at how it quieted the earth - hushed the world around us.
Its not a luxurious mountain retreat in my dreams - at least not the way the world thinks of luxury. This cabin in my dreams is not a big glorious mansion with multiple bedrooms and vast spaces. No, its cozy and small. Luxury for me comes in time not spent cleaning or fussing around the cabin, but in reading “Go Dog Go” for the hundredth time. It comes not in everyone sleeping in their own separate corner of the house, but in time spent snuggled together watching and listening to the logs as they hiss and crack under the flames. It comes not in fine clothes, fixed hair and well-applied makeup, but in layers of socks, messy stocking hat hair and rosy cheeks washed by the snow.
Yes, I dream of that place often. Perhaps not to live there, at least not now. But to have that retreat - that place where we could go and spend time being family - uninterrupted by the intrusions of life. That’s my idea of an escape to paradise.