Angel Wings and Herb Tea

Life after loss; healing through creativity, writing and art

Outside again


Suddenly we’re spending time outside again. After our three months in a house, where I would sometimes find that days had passed almost entirely inside, now, our life is connected inextricably to the wood around us. Our time in the cabin is made complete by the time slithering down muddy paths to the compost toilet at night; by stepping outside in the morning to the frozen, rosy dawn beyond the trees and over the hills; by nipping to the woodstack for an armful of logs for the burner. Last night as I grabbed the nearest  blanket to wrap around me, shawl like, to accompany Tansy on a  night time loo trip, I felt as if I was stepping further into the past with each step along the path.

The memory and spirit of the women who came before me, my ancestors; stepping out on their night time winter paths, holding their lanterns before them, stumbling through their woollen petticoats and shawls, feeling the cold on their skin, the mist on their cheeks, the cry of the owl in their ear . I felt so close to them, and a tiny glimpse of what it was like to live away from the slick, quick, glossed over shininess of the 21st century. I have read and absorbed countless stories and histories of domestic realities in previous centuries but it is only in living it again that I feel it in my body, the reality of it. The relentless practical tasks and the raw chapped hands, the living close to the bone. Our neighbours who live in two beautiful yurts, expressed just what I felt. ‘Living like this you experience the real highs and the real lows, you don’t get the dull daily hum drum of mediocrity’ It’s either spellbindingly beautiful or really quite desperate!

When I was carrying all our water into the house in 19 litre containers, and scrimping every drop, it was a challenge, especially on my back, (lugging it down my friends stairs after filling up in her bathroom, thanks Darcy and Becky!) but it made every drop precious. I found myself gloating when discovered three full hot water bottles in our cupboard, what could I use the water for? This morning the tap produced water, as we have a milder day, and it felt quite decadant to just use what ever we needed!


6 thoughts on “Outside again

  1. Oh, this is so wonderful!! I really miss having a cabin like this, a place where I can just be part of nature. Right now I'm sitting inside of my house, where I've been sitting more or less for a week or so, planning the spring activities I will do with my daughter. But a cabin… Oh, a cabin..! 🙂

  2. a beautiful post! I hear everything you say … the glee I had last year when I realised that I could simply reuse the water from our hot water bottles!!!!!!!!! This morning we are completely frozen in with ice on the inside, but there is something so pure and peaceful about it 🙂

  3. Did you live in a cabin once? There is something very special about them isn't there? Thanks for dropping by, enjoy your spring planning!

  4. Pure and peaceful…beautiful, yes you're right that's what living close to nature gives us, among many many other things, those moments of simple magic and serenity, more than outweighs the practical challenges!

  5. I sometimes have moments like these when going out to get firewood, or shutting the chickens into their coop at night, especially those nights when the weather is particularly foul, or when the sky is perfectly clear and there seem to be layer upon layer of millions of bright stars and I do realize how much I miss with comfy, convenient indoor living . . . though I feel I gain a lot too (hi-tech modern insulation has a lot going for it in a climate as extreme as mine, for example). . . everything in life is a tradeoff. Camping is similar, especially in remote spots only accessible by canoe, then, especially at night after building a fire to cook a meal, I really feel connected to a way of life lost in the mists of time that was very rich, meaningful, and healthy. You are right, all the modern conveniences really take the edge off of daily experience and leave us one step removed and disconnected from nature.Now a boring, practical question . . why was your water frozen? Where do you get your water from? Do you have a natural water source on your land? A cistern? I'm very interested in this kind of practicality of “living in the bush” as we call it here – water, heat, waste – it all becomes our responsibility and I'm always interested in the solutions people come up with.

  6. Yes, modern conveniences can be very.. convenient, but the trade off is disconnection…In answer to your practical questions, the next but one post is a water one…all will be revealed! H x

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