There is a place in my mind, tucked away in the Virginia Blue Ridge or just outside one of the little towns we love so much in the Colorado Rockies. We slip away, to this little roost, as often as we’re able. We do not come here merely to ‘get away,’ because this little porch, these acres, are not an escape but rather a way of returning – to wholeness, to the good earth, to a kind of slowness that reminds us we are humans and lovers and friends, not machines. We take our boys here and over time (and perhaps without them ever realizing what’s happened), these four walls and these kind woods become a sacred spot for them as well.
My vision has grown over the years. Now I envision a few more cabins, nestled into the hills nearby – not too far but not too close. A few friends have their own little place of laughter and wholeness. Together, we form a kind of mountain neighborhood. Together, we split wood and walk the forests and share more than a few warm dinners under moonlight. Friendships ripen here. We share a bond born in simplicity, a sense of wonder at this splendid world – and our place in it, an ever-expanding delight and gratitude, a sturdy hope that will not yield despite all the troubles, a keen sense of pleasure.
We don’t talk much about these places we share, because the whole experience seems to us a quiet thing, a neighborly thing. But we do welcome folks in as much as we’re able; we pass along the spaciousness we’ve been given. Our little spot in the woods makes us more whole, more true to ourselves and to one another. We have been given another place to love, to be welcomed into the solidness and generosity of this good world, and we are the better for it.
I don’t know if this vision will ever come to be, but I believe that even the picture of it, the possibility, enlarges my heart and keeps something very good burning bright.
9 Replies to “The Place in the Woods”
I’m ready to start grilling, building, and being….
“But we do welcome folks in as much as we’re able; we pass along the spaciousness we’ve been given.” I appreciate the balance in this sentence – as much as we’re able, we pass along – may I remember that.
Winn, thanks for writing this vision down and sharing it, its a sweet one. I love this line “We have been given another place to love, to be welcomed into the solidness and generosity of this good world, and we are the better for it.”
I’m glad you write. It gives me the pleasure of still hearing your voice and get a bit of pastoring from afar.
Maybe we can make the place where we are “our place in the woods.”
Count me in…
Oh yes, Winn! And your vision creates the distance and therefore “tension” between “now and then” that draws you ever closer to it’s realization…and if not in the physical, take heart…it has already become real in your minds eye… so enjoy!!
It was a campground for my family when I was young! Still remember The Navatnees were are only neighbors and the relationship were truly simpler indeed! Thank you so much for bringing to mind(although it’s never far away) this beautiful family time!
3/4 months every year on the weekends…close enough to where we could head there after parents got off work. A 7 member family in a tent trailer…good times, cherished times indeed!
that’s a great memory. Until I was in 6th grade, my family lived in a trailer, roaming the U.S. And some of our best moments were when we met up with friends at a state park or even an Shoney’s parking lot.
Yes! OIkos in the woods. LOVE this!