A psychic cabin

There is a psychic place I hold in my mind - a cabin where I can retreat when I need to.  It is not a physical place, at least not yet, but a mental picture I can regularly access.  The following is an excerpt from my journal about this cabin in my mind, followed by beautiful photos of cabins that help me visualize this psychic place.  All photos are from Cabin Porn, whom I highly suggest you follow on Tumblr or Instagram.

From my journal, 3 January 2016:

"A scene comes into my mind almost daily of a wooden cabin tucked away in a forest and near a stream.  For me, it symbolizes living for myself rather than striving for the world, shutting away in a place suitable for soul growth, and having a small, but deep life with a strong light shining from within.  Maybe a few can see that light, but it is not for the world."

Mpanga Forest

There is always demand for a nature get-away that isn't far from Kampala and I wish I had discovered Mpanga Forest before living in Uganda for a couple of years to take better advantage of this little-known escape from the city.  Mpanga Forest is great for a day trip or a cheap option for spending the night away from the city; after our first visit a couple of years ago, I always keep it in mind as a place to escape life's hustle.

Butterflies, hornbills, and red-tailed monkeys are the main attractions at Mpanga Forest, and there are plenty to appreciate.  I saw each one from the porch of the simple bamboo cabin, where we spent the night at the beginning of this year.  The cabin is 40,000 shillings/night (just over $10) and provides the right atmosphere for rest and reflection.  Sitting on that porch surrounded by the forest, I felt places within myself opening, places I hadn't listened to in quite some time.

Here are some photos I have taken during a few different trips to Mpanga Forest.


I promised myself that I would take my pregnancy as a time to rest and as an opportunity to reflect more on my inner life; but looking back at the last 7 months, this baby has been in 8 countries and 11 US states in utero, a great indication that my intention for rest has certainly not been achieved.

But last week, I arrived at my Hoosier home, my final stopping place before little Toto*, our baby, makes an appearance in this world.  There is a cabin next to my parents' house, filled with the cabinets and furniture from my grandparents' old home, stocked with their dishes, and decorated with my grandmother's quilts and pictures of my extended family. 

Upon arrival at home, I began unpacking my things and nesting in this cozy place.  I now spend my mornings in quiet meditation, looking out at pond, now frozen, where I spent so much of my childhood.  In the evenings, I knit by the fireplace while listening to a podcast or audiobook.  I have no internet or television and I like it this way.  Finally, I'm getting the rest I've promised myself from the beginning.

This place symbolizes family and heritage for me.  It gives me a sense of grounding in my life that is literally all over the place; it is, to me, a place where I take off my wings and I feel my roots.  This is where I will stay for the next 3 months, where Eric will soon join me to await Toto's birth, and this will be the very place where Toto is welcomed into our family.


*Toto means "baby" in Swahili.  It is the name we've chosen to refer to our unborn baby, since we've decided not to know the gender.

The Charm of Vermont

I had a day in Vermont with a colleague-turned-friend, who graciously gave me a tour of the area's charming towns and countryside.  These places and spaces were dreamy, even in the wintertime, and we had a great time together on our whirlwind winter tour.

The words 'quaint' and 'charming' describe almost every place we visited, from her own wood-heated cabin to the tavern across the street, the covered bridges, the diner, the farm, and the yarn shop.  It was small town America at its best, with local shops lining the streets, neighbors chatting it up wherever they run into each other, and the beauty of the countryside always accessible.