Friday, July 08, 2011

On not closing the curtains

Hazy morning in July

Last night distant lightning kept me awake for about half of the night. The storm never got close enough to the cabin for me to hear the thunder, even in the near-perfect silence of a still summer forest. Because I couldn’t hear the thunder, I know the storm was at least 10 miles away. That distance didn’t stop the sharp and very bright lightning flashes from lighting up the forest, though.

I could have closed the curtains on the big picture windows that line the entire north wall of my bedroom, but the only time I do that (and then reluctantly) is on very cold winter nights, those that fall well below zero. If I didn’t want to see the forest at all hours of the day and night, I wouldn’t live here. And despite the occasional lack of sleep, watching the lightning skitter through the trees and turn the forest momentarily as bright as noontime at 3 a.m. is a pleasure in itself, something I am lucky to be able to experience.

I am well aware that my experience of living in the woods isn’t the norm in this modern world, especially here in the eastern U.S. So I want to soak up as much of it as I can, take it into me like my next breath, so that the woods and I become as nearly close to one as possible. I have always felt the forest to be a living thing of its own—all its parts, all the bugs and different plants and trees and animals contributing to a single one thing, the forest. To me, the forest is a holy place, a wholly living and breathing entity. It’s a pure place, in a world made impure, often, by we humans who inhabit it. Here is where I can experience life as perfectly as the earth created it. Why would I close the curtains?


Woodswalker said...

You have the right attitude. You also take beautiful photos of lovely places. Thanks.

Scott said...

I completely agree, Carolyn. Our bedroom windows have thermal shades, but we, too, only lower them when it's really cold outside. When I retire from my current job (if the economy ever permits it), we're going to have to move and I have often told Kali that I'd just like to move into a nice apartment or townhouse where I don't have any outdoor drudge work to do. She replies, "Oh, no, we're too spoiled by having lived in the woods for so long for that to be acceptable."

Carolyn H said...

Woodswalker: Thank you very much!

Scott: I can sympathize about the questionable retirement. I'm in that same boat. I don't have much outside drudge work here at the cabin. The forest takes care of that!

Cicero Sings said...

I only have half curtains and only in the two bedrooms ... the rest of the house is curtainless ... because I want to see the sky and the tree tops and I love as much light as possible to come in. I only wish I had more windows. I do have neighbours hence the half curtains in the bedroom.

My backyard has been left wild.

Carolyn H said...

Cicero: No curtains is one advantage of not having nearby neighbors!

phylliso said...

I feel the way you do,& you said it so well.My own spirit would die if I had to live in a city.phyllis