We've been coming to this cabin for 15 years. It's simple. Short walk in. Solid facility. Personal gear only. We've been here with kids, before kids, with visitors and other families. We've hiked in with our old dogs Marker and Ellie and our new dogs, Charlie and Homer.
I'm amazed by the switch that gets flipped in me. Upon arrival, I take off the backpack, unpack a few necessaries and lower myself into a chair. My cabin activity is arriving. Once I'm there, that is what I do. I inhabit the cabin.
Girls come and go, from the creek, to the rocks, into the cabin. Dogs cry to get out and paw to get back in. I put wood in the stove and fire up the hot water. I look out the window, read, write and wander outside to see whatever the girls have to show me.
Maren spends long stretches on the creek.
The girls get wound up and whacky with Nerf guns.
Sadie buzzes back and forth from fairy houses to games to dog training to a snack in the cabin.
Charlie spends more time with me, still in the cabin. He escorts me to the outhouse and lays at my feet, content to inhabit the cabin.
Homer follows the girls and leaps and bounds from squirrel sounds to interesting scents in the woods.
I do wander out with camera in hand and looks at things close up. Moss. Seed pouch. Back to cabin.
The next morning, I wake to a retching puppy, close to 5 AM and let him out the door. The fire is out. I rebuild it. I start hot water. I sit. I look out the window at the pre-dawn view. Girls wake up and I make coffee, hot cocoa, cider and oatmeal. We talk and read and do a puzzle. We laugh at the stories in the cabin journal. We laugh really hard. Then I stand up.
It's time to go. Pack up the packs. I have finished being in the cabin. Don't know what time it is, for I don't have anywhere to be. I have no feelings or worries about leaving or getting home. It just seems like time to go. So we leave. Now I am leaving the cabin.
I guess this is why I go. To live by some internal clock that I never pay much attention to. To just inhabit, to be. Experiences like this make me wonder about how I can bring this feeling into my life more routinely. I think cabin life and civilian life are mutually exclusive. I think I'll just get to the cabin more often.