I’m going to say straight away that I don’t really have a journal prompt for today. I just feel like talking about a recent experience that I had, and maybe in the end I’ll get some kind of summary out of it that seems like it would make a good prompt, in case anybody uses this site in the future for journal prompt ideas.
This last weekend I went to my friend Oriole’s cabin in a far less populated part of this country. Oriole (her code name, as I’ve established here before) had been a student, but she only took classes with me for about two months before it got too expensive for her. Thankfully we became fast friends while she was my student, because I can say that, hands-down, no other person here has been so beneficial to me in so many ways.
Anyway, it wasn’t just Oriole and I at her cabin, but several of her friends, including two other girls that I’ve become pretty close with while being here.
Now, the cabins in this country aren’t like the luxurious cabins that litter the North Woods in the United States. They’re not like the retirement cabins that various well-off couples, including my aunt and uncle, spend their golden years in. These cabins are wood, often built by hand, insulated with natural materials and featuring wood burning stoves to keep everything warm. There are usually different buildings for each necessity–one building for sleeping, one for a kitchen, one for a sauna, one for a toilet, one for a shed–and, as is customary in this country, you can’t wear your shoes inside (nor can you go barefoot), so you have to walk between places with your outdoor shoes on, then take off your shoes and put on slippers to go into each place, then take off your slippers and put on your shoes to leave and go to a different building…. It can get pretty tiring. Eventually I just walked between places barefoot and wore my slippers inside.
Let me talk about why going to this cabin was such an amazing experience. First of all, it’s located in a village surrounded by absolutely gorgeous country. It’s springtime, and the dandelions, the tulips, the daffodils, and all the other early flowers are blooming. (And yes, I consider dandelions to be beautiful, and useful at that.) I think I found one of my favorite places in this whole side of the hemisphere, just sitting on the top of a sloping meadow, looking down over a river.
More than that, though, this cabin was a bit of an escape. Just to take two days to live in a more simplistic way feels like everything I’m supposed to do. Of course it can get old–and I’m addicted to the Internet, so it can be hard not to have my Netflix and stuff–but somehow, just two days of country style living like entirely more slow and peaceful than two days of doing anything else. I took photos of the flowers, I actually read a book, and I got some quality bonding time in with people I really love and care about. I mean, you don’t do naked sauna without sharing your soul a bit.
I also had the opportunity to think a bit more about what I take and what I give to the Universe, to the Earth. One of my friends really liked me making dandelion garlands for her hair, and she insisted I pick a lot of dandelions for this purpose. I realized that I was taking a lot without giving anything back, and so each time I picked a dandelion, I started thanking the Earth for it. And when I inevitably had leftovers because my friend decided she didn’t want the thing I had made for her hair, I braided the leftovers and hung them on the gate. Maybe next time I go I’ll leave something else as an offering.
I know that my boyfriend wants a nice, modern house. He’s been inspired by a south-suburban luxury that his successful sister has obtained but neither one of us has ever had. And yet, I hope that if we get married and move in together, he can compromise with me. If we have an ultra-modern house, I would like a little shed in the back. I’d like my own little paradise where I can garden, and do spellwork, and make herbal tea. Perhaps I’m a little too idealistic about it all, but I can’t deny that my happiness is far more exhilarating when I’m surrounded by nature.
…Well, I don’t think I got a good prompt out of this, and maybe I didn’t even say everything I wanted to say. But at least I got the thoughts out there.
I hope everyone is having a great week.