Saturday, August 22, 2015

Writing in Solitude Like Thoreau @TylerArboretum

I write my books in my quiet office, without music or distractions. I can imagine spending time alone in the woods to write in a hideaway house like this one.

My husband and I spent a beautiful summer day at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, Pennsylvania, and during our walk along the trails, came upon this cabin hidden in the woods.

The arboretum staff recreated an exact replica of American poet Henry David Thoreau‘s tiny home beside Walden Pond in Massachusetts.Thoreau lived simply for two years and two months (1845-1847) in the one-room cabin he built himself, to write without distractions, on land owned by his good friend Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you look closely at the bottom right of this photo you’ll notice a spot of blue–the pond behind the cabin.

One room with a fireplace, a bench to sit on, and a loft above him to sleep. This single room was re-recreated in the exact dimensions and style of the original home on Walden Pond. I imagine there was a table inside too, but little room for anything else. When I took this photo, I was standing inside the open doorway.

Sleeping loft after a day of writing.

I think all writers look for a sanctuary in which to write. Though my romance novels couldn’t be more different from the writings of Thoreau, I felt a connection to his cabin and its surroundings because I understood his need for solitude. The cabin in the woods at Walden Pond was the highlight of my visit to the Tyler Arboretum and a place I’ll always remember.


Thoreau wrote:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

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Tina Donahue said...

Wow, I wish I could write in solitude. No neighbors. No crappy music. Just nature. I wish. *sigh*

jean hart stewart said...

Didn't know how his cabin really looked. Thanks so much for posting the pictures.

Fiona McGier said...

That's why we go camping as often as we can. We need a certain number of nights sleeping outside, to experience that solitude, in order to feel "centered." We're hoping to retire someday to a cabin in the woods. If we ever get to retire, that is!

Adele Downs said...

Thanks for your comments Tina, Jean, and Fiona. I thoroughly enjoyed my day at the arboretum and my visit to the cabin. I'm fortunate to live in a quiet, wooded area, and have my own office in which to write. I enjoy my solitude.