Posted by: highmountainmuse | May 30, 2009

Think small

A break in the storm. Alan down outside the Littel Cabin.

A break in the storm in evening. Alan down outside the Little Cabin.

In a peaceful clear of the early evening, a lull in the storm and a break in the clouds, we go down to the Little Cabin, the three of us and Alan, and begin housekeeping.  Sweeping up cob webs and chinking knocked from between the old logs during the Big Move.  We pull down old shelving and expose the weathered Spruce walls, opening up the past, the present, the future. All at once with such simple motions as running a broom across a log wall.  As we clear the past, clean the past, we feel it is ours, and we begin to build a new.

A tiny cabin, only 12×15 feet inside, I suppose.  And all the room we need.  We need no more.  We want no more.  We plan a place for everything, and our dreams begin to form to reality as the wood cook stove warms us and the air freshens with the windows opened just wide enough, and the cleaning and clearing expose for us the clean slate, the open canvas that is this little cabin, that is our lives.

We grill our hotdogs outside over coals from burning scraps of wood, and return to the haven of our cabin as the rain returns. Inside, now warm and dry, we roast our marshmallows over the embers of the wood stove; and enjoy our s’mores while listening to the rain beat down on the tin roof, drowning out the roar of the river so near, though we gaze dreamily through the rain streaked window at the raging flow below us.

roasting marshmallows over the wood cook stove inside the Little Cabin

roasting marshmallows over the wood cook stove inside the Little Cabin

In our own silence, we sit and listen to this perfect world around us, and the stove continues to warm us as we shed our damp coats. I hear Alan’s heavy and relaxed breath, as he sleeps so completely content on his dog bed beside us.  This is when his world is best, like when we work at camp and spend so many nights close together in the tent.  His world is simple and safe and right.  Everything most important is close at hand.  His life does not get better. All that matters most is here.

We understand.  We feel the same. Without the pressures of the outside world for as long as we can put that off.

As we begin to talk of plans to build in a kitchen table and bunk beds, we find everything we need can be right here, within these tiny walls.  There is no need for more.  We have had so much more; it does not bring us what is most important.

I wonder for those who build bigger and bigger and bigger if they are ultimately seeking to find, to feel, that thing which is so hard to find, deep inside, which really can not be built or bought.  One house, two house, three houses… and still they can not find it. 

The windows now are streaked with rain; the outside world a vague blur.  We are closed inside our own little world.  It is not the view from the window that brings us this joy, this peace, this contentment. We remember feeling the same zipped inside a tent, or gathered in a hotel room on a road trip together. It is not the mountain which bring us together, brings us this sense of inner harmony. How many count on the land to relieve them of their burden, when what I see is that the burden will follow as the heavy load you create it to be no matter where you are, if that is the bundle you choose to carry.  What matters most?  Some still don’t know.

Sitting in that cabin, as the rain pours down and the light of the day fades and we chatter away among the three of us, making big plans for such a simple little cabin, we remember what matters most.



  1. Happiness is definitely inside of us if we choose to find it. I am like you, I am the most happy when Ron, Willie, Cody and I are all together, no matter where it is! Where they are that is where my home and heart will be.

    All of us us can do with so much less “Stuff” and like you said before, we need very little. I think most of us are just too afraid to try to let go.


  3. I know you seem to be happy in the little cabin, but it seems unfair that you have to move. I read your blog every day and I truly admire your attitude.


  4. Brenda,
    I have missed you, and I am glad to hear from you. I’m sorry I lost contact, time to check in with you and see what you’ve been up to. I’m also really glad to see your picture. Then it’s more like talking “face to face.”

  5. I always read and should take time to leave a note. I haven’t posted much on my blog recently. Shame on me.

    You see such beauty in everything around you.


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