A picturesque eco-friendly cottage nestled amid a thick canopy of pine trees overlooking a mountain, a pristine green pond with pink lotuses, a garden with freshly bloomed petunias resembling a colourful collage, grass pathways leading to the woods and an endless stretch of dazzling blue sky playing hide-and-seek with the trees–a dwelling straight out of the dreams. I bet, it is true for most of us.
At some point in life, one may have wished to retreat into the quiet of the woods away from the hubbub of a crowded city and the din where thousands of sounds collaborate to form a cacophonous orchestra.
People have always been enamoured by the thought of living away from the rush of the cities in harmony with nature. Some of us realise it by taking off to the woods during vacation. But there are those who have made the woods their homes. Some look for inspiration in the woods, while others have taken the idea to the extreme. Then there are regular Joes like me who wish to live in the woods as a respite from society’s hustle and bustle.
American poet, essayist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau in his book Walden–a voyage of spiritual discovery and manual of self-reliance, writes about the time he spent in isolation in a cabin near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. In one part of the book Thoreau says: “Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time…” During his two-year stay in the woods, Thoreau relied on firewood for fuel and grew potatoes, corn and beans.
Living with bare minimum and living it up maximum, learning to wake up to the rising sun, ending the day with the setting sun, sleeping under the stars in a breezy twilight with crickets creaking and nature lulling you to a sound sleep are not things a city can guarantee us.