Last year, I found this picture on Pinterest and shared it on Facebook, asking whimsically who might want to go away to a winter cabin with me. Many people were in favor of the idea, and I got to thinking about what a cozy winter hibernation would look like – and this fanciful little dream was the result.
I will admit, it is in part based on three real-life winter retreats I did with my high school leadership kids back in the day where we did many of these activities. I added a few more brushstrokes to the picture, as I dreamed about a whole week away from reality where I could be with my people and just rest and enjoy the seclusion together. Maybe some day this will come true, but for now, you can join me in the mind escape of this dream and pretend like we’re all there together this winter.
At nights, we’d light a fire in the fireplace and snuggle up into blankets on the couches surrounding it. Sometimes we’d pop in a movie, sometimes we’d sip our tea and hot cocoa into the late hours, just talking and laughing about everything. Sometimes we’d start a highly competitive board game and not stop until several rounds had gone by, and our weary jokes didn’t make sense anymore.
In the mornings, we’d straggle into the kitchen to pancake breakfasts being made by the early risers – coffee would be brewing, the tea kettle would be whistling, and we’d lounge around in our comfy sweats until we finally felt motivated to shower and do something lazy with our hair.
We’d squeeze in a walk around the frozen lake before lunch, tromping through the crunchy snow, the chill air biting our cheeks and making our breath come in puffs of white.
After lunch, everyone would have a bit of down time – some people would nap, others would read, others would do a puzzle together. Then we’d rally together for an “event” – one day for an organized snowball fight, with fortresses and score keeping galore. Another day, it would be a full-on Sherlock Holmes treasure hunt with elaborate clues, and the best treasure at the end – a sleigh ride through the woods. Yet another day, we would decorate gingerbread houses, and still another, we might shoot a video of “Murder at the Lake Cabin.”
There was a delight in being together – but being secluded from the world. There was a coziness in being bundled up in a log cabin in the woods while the cold, white winter surrounded us. There was a joy in unrushed schedules, in spontaneous decisions, and planned-out adventures. There was deep rest in simply curling up on the couch and not having to be anywhere at a certain time.
This was what winter hibernation and retreat looked like. This was where the rest and healing began.
Picture gleaned from Pinterest.