I think at some point we have all dreamed about running away and living in the woods. A log cabin tucked away in the trees, far away from phones, Facebook, bills, overdrafts… the modern world in general really. Yesterday was national log cabin day. It aimed to celebrate all the serenity a log cabin can give you. The calming and restorative effects of quiet solitude cannot be doubted.
But, alas, life being what it is we can’t just up and sell the car, the house, the kids… but that doesn’t mean we can’t have our own little corner of tranquility.
Peaceful: Log cabins are synonymous with peace and quiet. With nothing more than the chirping of birds and the wind sighing through the trees we find ourselves unwinding in no time. How can we replicate this in the home? Well, in an inner city home it can be difficult. There is a constant hum of traffic and people, and no matter how well we try to sound proof it always seems to leak through. There are some things we can do however.
If your window furnishings have a low opacity then you can draw them to cover a less than pleasant view while still allowing the room to be bright. The sounds of the forest can be replicated quite easily. On Youtube there are recordings of forest sounds, some as long as 10 hours. Get the volume just high enough to drown out the outside but not so loud as to be overpowering and… breathe.
Cosy: It’s funny, but it’s always night time when we picture the inside of a log cabin. No need for blinds or curtains as its pitch black outside, apart from the stars. Just a fire and some candles giving off light as you sink into a book if you’re on your own, or laughing like hyenas if you’re not.
Thankfully, this is easy to replicate at home. Blackout fabrics will shut out almost all light, mimicking the lack of light pollution. Turn the lights down, or off completely, and use candles or a fire if you’re lucky enough to have one (if you don’t there’s always this). Make sure there are plenty of warm blankets and cosy pillows to melt into. Then call some friends and crack open the wine.
Solitude: There is something about being alone that is almost meditative. No pressures or pretending, just you and your thoughts allowed wander and explore. Obviously deep in the forest it is a simple task to feel alone, as you probably will be. But most urban and even rural areas can be quite densely populated.
The simplest way to try and achieve this is to escape a little bit. For some this might mean a half an hour drive or train ride to a quieter part of the world, like the local forest or moorland. There are some beautiful places in the UK. The Peak District, The Yorkshire Dales, The Brecon Beacons, The South Downs and The Lake District all provide ample solitude and some true natural beauty. But even a trip to the next town, just wandering around a new place where you know nobody, can be an adventure and give you a calming feeling of solitude.
Warm: You’re never cold in your log cabin are you? There is always mounds of blankets, the fire is always roaring and you never take your joggers off unless you’re going outside. There is always some snacks around and a warm cup of tea or cold beer depending on the time of day.
It’s a simple job to do this at home. If you have a fire, chuck some logs on. If not, crank the heating up a touch. Pile blankets and quilts generously around the room and make sure the fridge is fully stocked.
Beautiful: Obviously, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but our love of log cabins seems to be quite universal. There is something about their simplicity and the way in which they work in harmony with their surrounding that appeals to us all.
This is hard to replicate, unless you’re willing to bulldoze your home and break out the hammer. Maybe we should just sit back and enjoy them from afar. And if you get really desperate you can always make a blanket tent in your living room and pretend.