Home of the Bellingwood Series – Nammynools

A Hermit’s Imagination

Bell's Dell 1Being a hermit in a cabin in the woods is awesome. It is the only way I can find enough quiet and solitude to write like I do. Mom and Dad had no idea when they purchased this land more than fifty years ago that I’d find my way here. Now … the important part of that equation is me. This place was always intended to be a quiet place for our family. Dad insisted on no television or phones here (I’ve changed all that, it’s a new century for pity’s sake). When he came here, he wanted to be alone.

The three of us kids teased him about being a hermit … mercilessly. He just smiled. He was so happy when here. But I don’t believe that either he or Mom thought that any one of us kids would search for solitude. And all three of us have in our own way. Mine’s just more apparent and severe. We all crave that same quiet that Dad found here – the deep desire has come as we’ve grown older.

Okay … anyway.

Being a hermit in a cabin in the woods is awesome…

…Unless you have a really good imagination.

Whoops! Hahaha. I’m such a nut.

My cabin is in a valley. The positives to that statement are about the weather. I’m tucked into a hillside, down in a valley, meaning that most of the harshest weather conditions miss me. I can enjoy storms because they happen far up in the sky above me. Oh, sometimes the power goes out, but the linemen around here have me up and going within two hours. And hey, I’m in a cabin in the woods, right?

But that valley … things echo in a valley making it difficult to place where sounds are coming from. Unless it’s a familiar farm sound from across the river, I often don’t know what is what.

Thunder and grain trucks on the gravel road sound the same. If a vehicle is revving its motor across the road, it sounds like they’re in my lane.

Earlier this evening, I desperately needed a short nap, so I climbed into bed. The cats were all out on the porch, meaning that I had the entire bed to myself. Ahhhh …

BOOM! It sounded like a gun shot. Really close. The cats came running in. I jumped back out of bed and headed for the porch. Maybe they knocked something over. I couldn’t find it, so to be safe, I shut the main door and set it aside. The cats now curled up around me and we fell asleep … only to be awakened by the sound of someone coming down the lane. Crap. Now I have to get up and get dressed.

Wait. There are no vehicle lights out there. I flipped the outside light on, slipped out onto the porch and looked around. There it is. A big old pickup truck coming up out of the lane across the road. Oh … and the boom? FedEx had dropped a package of shipping boxes in front of my door and it had fallen over. Good heavens, Diane.

Animal sounds? You can’t even imagine all of the wild things that happen in my head when fans are off and windows are open at night.

The first summer I started spending time here, I would come up on a Tuesday night after a choir rehearsal. It’s a three hour drive and I would pull in around midnight, unload my Jeep, come in, go to bed and get up the next morning to start my week’s work. One night I backed in, popped the hatch on the back of the Jeep and some animal or bird started screeching and screeching. I quickly decided that anything in the back of that car could wait until morning, slammed the hatch, ran inside and locked every door I had available.

Yeah. It was an owl.

There are a lot of beasts in these hills. Everything from bobcats to coyotes. The nights that the coyotes howl, I wrap blankets tightly around myself and thank God that I have solid walls around me. One night I listened to horrible screaming come from back up in the hills. A couple of animals were fighting for their lives in some awful manner. Blanket over my head was the only option.

Being a hermit in a cabin in the woods is awesome. It’s a good thing I have an outlet for my imagination or someone might have to commit me.


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