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Home >> Happiness  >> Welcome to our abode in the woods
 

Welcome to our abode in the woods

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.


Some people love the idea of becoming self-sufficient–growing their own food and living a life free of utility bills. Others want to be away from society and the urban rat race. Meanwhile, another set of people think retreating to the woods is financially viable. Whatever the reason, they are closer to nature learning lessons of life and death first-hand.

The idea of moving to the woods sounds good on paper, but the actual story is different. It is an independent manner of living. You need to produce your own food, purify water, generate electricity and attend to your sanitation needs. Despite all hindrances, people still wish to give it a try. Bindiya Murgai, a mental health therapist based out of the Niligiris says, “When I was 30, I was already sure I would check out of the city and move to the hills. Such places are gentler and more conducive to our own health and wellbeing, which I don’t think any of the cities at the moment really are.”

Moving out of the city, is indeed, a critical life decision. “My husband and I had decided that by the time we are 40 we would make the conscious decision of moving to a place which is better for our soul and wellbeing. And my nature of work is conducive to a gentler, pristine place where the quality of life is far superior to that of a city,” says Bindiya. 

The transition from city life to living in the woods is not easy. One needs to be mentally prepared for it. She says, “I think it is the mind frame. If you are internally ready for it, there is nothing to stop you. People tell me I am courageous to move to the hills. I don’t think it is a matter of being courageous. It is a matter of where you are in your head space and how ready are you for the change.”

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.

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