Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. If I Were a Hermit, I’d Live in a Cabin in the Woods

 

Since @cliffordbrown has given us the freedom to be anything or anyone we want to be for Group Writing this month, I have decided I would like to become a hermit. I would find a two-room cabin that is surrounded by trees but receives enough sunshine to light the small main room, bright rays splashing across the wooden floor. It would have to have electricity and indoor plumbing.

I would take special care decorating the cabin: hooked rugs, wooden shelves, two comfortable chairs, and a small sofa. The colors would be a tribute to fall—oranges, light browns, and deep reds. There would be small toss pillows to create the feeling of softness and healing. And a small wooden table with one wooden chair, with a pillow on the seat, in front of a window that looks out on the breathtaking scenery.

The cabin would be located in a place where my cell phone would work. I rarely use the phone, but I don’t want to be completely cut off from humanity—only mostly. I would receive no newspapers, and let the world carry on without my supervision. I would have my old laptop computer to be able to write, but no connection to the internet.

How would I fill my days? I would take two walks: a brisk walk in the morning on the path that starts near the front door. In the afternoon I would take a leisurely walk, traveling in the opposite direction, watching for birds and small critters, feeling the sun on my face, and simply breathing. In the cabin, I would listen to music; I’ve thought about learning about and listening to opera. I would spend time journaling at least part of the day, reflecting on how to find peace of mind, how to adjust to getting older, how to appreciate both the ease and discomfort of being alone.

I would pray. I would meditate. I would read. I would take naps. I would remind myself that I’m not really alone because G-d is always there. I would knit. I would read poetry. I might write poetry.

I would bask in the peacefulness of body and soul.

* * *

How long would I live as a hermit? A week? A month? A year? Probably not a year. I have people I love and care about who I’d like to think might miss me, and I would surely grow to miss them. I have people who are woven into my life, and without them I know I would feel an emptiness that books and music can’t replace.

But it is lovely to think of escaping. Leaving the virus and masks and violence and riots and politics behind.

At the same time, that is not living. Life calls us to be engaged and present and loving to others.

But I can imagine and dream.

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  1. Blondie Thatcher

    Sounds like a nice place to be, Susan. I think I could do this for a month about once a year. Kind of like “recharging the batteries”.

    • #1
    • September 8, 2020, at 7:09 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. KentForrester Moderator

    I’m not sure the world can carry on without your supervision.

    • #2
    • September 8, 2020, at 7:11 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. SpiritO'78 Member

    I think I got enough isolation during the first month of the quarantine. It’s great for a few weeks but get’s boring fast. I need the discipline of schedules. Not everyone is like that.

    • #3
    • September 8, 2020, at 7:45 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn: How long would I live as a hermit? A week? A month? A year?

    I could probably manage it for a few decades, so long as I had a good Internet connection.

    • #4
    • September 8, 2020, at 8:00 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I could manage it for several hours. Counting sleep time.

    • #5
    • September 8, 2020, at 8:12 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Old Bathos Moderator

    Hermits don’t have cell phones. Or color-coordinated pillows. Just a quill pen, some ink, and parchment for missives to be sent to Ricochet surrogates for posting apocalyptic visions and screeds with the occasional recipe idea or tips for fun uses for old flour sacks and squirrel hides.

    • #6
    • September 8, 2020, at 8:20 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    I’m not sure the world can carry on without your supervision.

    Oh, aren’t you sweet! I think . . . 

    • #7
    • September 8, 2020, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Hermits don’t have cell phones. Or color-coordinated pillows. Just a quill pen, some ink, and parchment for missives to be sent to Ricochet surrogates for posting apocalyptic visions and screeds with the occasional recipe idea or tips for fun uses for old flour sacks and squirrel hides.

    Say, @oldbathos, that sounds interesting. I think . . .

    • #8
    • September 8, 2020, at 8:30 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Often when I am asked where my wife and I will spend our vacation, I say we are going to a log cabin in the mountains. If they ask for details, I explain that we live in a log home (“cabin”) near West Virginia. As they say, West Virginia is “Almost Heaven” and we are Almost West Virginia, so therefore…..

    Our place meets most of your requirements, but we do have a couple of extra rooms. The phones work – sorta – and the internet is kind of there. The critters are plentiful. The last two mornings, my walk has been watching the sun rise through the mist over the neighbors field while listening to the hawks in the woods across the street from our house.

    One thing I would add to your requirements is to have enough of a porch to have a rocking chair. Sometimes that is the best place to watch critters. When we moved in, we only brought 2 rocking chairs the first night. We slept on the floor, but happily rocked on the porch the next morning.

    …. where I’m about to go now

    Oh – and get a dog. Are hermits allowed to have dogs? If not, I don’t want the job.

    • #9
    • September 8, 2020, at 10:50 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    Often when I am asked where my wife and I will spend our vacation, I say we are going to a log cabin in the mountains. If they ask for details, I explain that we live in a log home (“cabin”) near West Virginia. As they say, West Virginia is “Almost Heaven” and we are Almost West Virginia, so therefore…..

    Our place meets most of your requirements, but we do have a couple of extra rooms. The phones work – sorta – and the internet is kind of there. The critters are plentiful. The last two mornings, my walk has been watching the sun rise through the mist over the neighbors field while listening to the hawks in the woods across the street from our house.

    One thing I would add to your requirements is to have enough of a porch to have a rocking chair. Sometimes that is the best place to watch critters. When we moved in, we only brought 2 rocking chairs the first night. We slept on the floor, but happily rocked on the porch the next morning.

    …. where I’m about to go now

    Oh – and get a dog. Are hermits allowed to have dogs? If not, I don’t want the job.

    I love when you describe your home, @willowspring. But I want your dogs! Yes, a porch would be wonderful, too. Thanks for the suggestions! 

    • #10
    • September 8, 2020, at 10:53 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Rodin Member

    Sounds more like a vacation than a lifestyle. But its all good.

    • #11
    • September 8, 2020, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Stad Thatcher

    I would love to have a little writing (or gaming) cabin just like in the picture. It has to have all the amenities mentioned, and it can even be located behind our house. I’m not a hermit, but I get hermit-like when writing, editing, or gaming. Any interruption – no matter how small – bothers the heck out of me, and it takes time to calm back down and return to what I was doing. Imagine fighting a dragon, your health bar is dropping faster than your healing potions can help you, and the stupid cats downstairs decide to hiss and spit at one another . . . arrrggghh!!!

    • #12
    • September 8, 2020, at 2:13 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Hermits don’t have cell phones.

    Yeah, what next, “I’m gonna call up my friends and see we can be hermits together!”?

    • #13
    • September 8, 2020, at 3:13 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Hermits don’t have cell phones.

    Yeah, what next, “I’m gonna call up my friends and see we can be hermits together!”?

    Nope. Please note that my little table has only one chair!

    • #14
    • September 8, 2020, at 3:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Double Post.

    • #15
    • September 9, 2020, at 6:09 AM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Who’s in the underground lab?

    • #16
    • September 9, 2020, at 6:09 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Who’s in the underground lab?

    No worries. No basement.

    • #17
    • September 9, 2020, at 7:11 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. I. M. Fine Coolidge

    “But it is lovely to think of escaping.” Yes! And that’s at the heart of it all, isn’t it? I love escaping. It’s why I travel. But I am only good for about two weeks at a time. But the minute I get home, I start planning my next escape. (I wonder why that is?)

    Beautiful post. As always. 

    • #18
    • September 9, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Right Wing Teamster Lawyer Thatcher

    WillowSpring (View Comment):
    Oh – and get a dog. Are hermits allowed to have dogs? If not, I don’t want the job.

    Me neither!!

    • #19
    • September 9, 2020, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Right Wing Teamster Lawyer Thatcher

    I used the term “semi-hermit” jsut the other day describing the last 6 months.

    • #20
    • September 9, 2020, at 8:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I. M. Fine (View Comment):

    “But it is lovely to think of escaping.” Yes! And that’s at the heart of it all, isn’t it? I love escaping. It’s why I travel. But I am only good for about two weeks at a time. But the minute I get home, I start planning my next escape. (I wonder why that is?)

    Beautiful post. As always.

    Thanks, @imfine! I rarely imagine escaping, but it sure can be a delight! I’m pretty much the same way about travel. We haven’t been out much, but I’m looking forward to the time when we feel we can! And thanks for the kind words.

    • #21
    • September 9, 2020, at 8:35 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’d want a lakeside cabin, and I’d want the lake to have decent tributaries that I could explore in a canoe.

    • #22
    • September 9, 2020, at 9:31 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    I’d want a lakeside cabin, and I’d want the lake to have decent tributaries that I could explore in a canoe.

    Oooh, that sounds lovely. I think I might end up oaring in circles, though. But maybe I could learn to go straight! Thanks, Mis.

    • #23
    • September 9, 2020, at 9:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Stad Thatcher

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Hermits don’t have cell phones.

    Yeah, what next, “I’m gonna call up my friends and see we can be hermits together!”?

    A hermit Meetup!

    • #24
    • September 9, 2020, at 1:32 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  25. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Susan Quinn: Since @cliffordbrown has given us the freedom to be anything or anyone we want to be for Group Writing this month, I have decided I would like to become a hermit.

    Yes, folks, this month is your ticket to dream, ruminate, or pontificate. Don’t be shy, step up and join the conversation this month, playing off September’s theme “If I was a —, I would —.” 

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

     

    • #25
    • September 10, 2020, at 11:48 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. Hinch Member
    Hinch Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Took me way too long to pipe up about this in this post, but the picture of the cabin on the OP was taken from a YouTube channel called “My Self Reliance”. Shawn James lives in the woods in Ontario in the cabin he’s built by himself. I’m not sure he qualifies as a hermit, but he spends weeks or months at a time with just his Golden Retriever, Cali. Highly recommended…there are many videos that have no dialog — just Shawn doing outdoor stuff. https://www.youtube.com/c/ShawnJamesMySelfReliance/featured

    • #26
    • September 11, 2020, at 1:37 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Hinch (View Comment):

    Took me way to long to pipe up about this in this post, but the picture of the cabin on the OP was taken from a YouTube channel called “My Self Reliance”. Shawn James lives in the woods in Ontario in the cabin he’s built by himself. I’m not sure he qualifies as a hermit, but he spends weeks or months at a time with just his Golden Retriever, Cali. Highly recommended…there are many videos that have no dialog — just Shawn doing outdoor stuff. https://www.youtube.com/c/ShawnJamesMySelfReliance/featured

    That sounds lovely, @hinch. Thanks!

    • #27
    • September 11, 2020, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • Like