For years I have romanticized the idea of living alone in a cabin in the woods. Something with a pond. I imagine how wise and deep I would become with all that time for self discovery and introspection. During especially crazy times in my life this little thought has gotten me through.
While I haven't thought about it quite as much in recent years, as I launch back into the busy world of work, a world without a great deal of "ME" time where I am constantly having to make a decision about how I will spend my non working time and what my true priorities are I have been thinking about my cabin dream.
I am coming to realize that my years at home were my "cabin in the woods" years. I may not have been alone in the woods but I did have plenty of time. They were my years of self discovery and introspection. I was blessed with time to walk through the woods, or my neighborhood, a park, a playground, Target...at my own pace and observe and experience all that was around me. Admittedly I didn't always do that, sometimes I rushed forward as quickly as possible from one thing to the next in a hurry to go nowhere never looking up, but definitely there were days, more in recent years, where I stopped and enjoyed what was happening around me.
On one literal walk in the woods with Jake and my nieces several years ago we came around the corner and found a red fox standing in our path. It looked at us and began walking toward us, we were all frozen until it jumped into some bushes off the path. We relaxed and began to go forward again only to have it jump back out of the bushes moments later with lunch in its mouth and run off. It wasn't easy to keep 4 little kids marching through the woods alert and watching for nature but it sure was worth it that day.
I have met neighbors while pushing a stroller around the block who have become a wonderful necessary support system, I have sat at parks with friends listening to their stories and sharing mine, and a trip by myself to Target has at times had the refreshing quality of a week long vacation.
Through it all I have seen and done things I never would have dreamed. I have met people that have influenced how I go about my day to day. I have gone places and experienced so many things that I could never begin to document them all.
And while I did all that I was definitely not alone in a quiet cabin in the woods. However I did get in some self discovery, in the moments between the adventure of life I thought about myself, my choices and how God wanted me to respond and learned a lot about myself. I might not have spent my years in silence but God spoke to me in the noise of life, He met me where I was and taught me lessons only He could teach me.
It turns out I have been living my cabin dream all along. The opportunities and understanding that I thought I had to escape my life to get were waiting for me at home all along.