A Friendly Cabin — Part 2
We’ve had a good evening and it’s around midnight that I get back to the room. The window is closed and outside it’s pitch black. The window reflects the light of the lonely bulb on the ceiling and the raindrops stuck on the outside of the window. The rest is a world of black, as though there’s nothing there but the vacuum of space. Inside the bulb shows the bed, wardrobe and wood paneling, wood grains in various shades of pine wood, hidden under a thick transparent lacquer. I breathe out and just watch for a moment. It doesn’t take long until my senses are overwhelmed, the earthy smell. I can’t place whether it’s just the moisture, some kind of mold or simply the smell of the woods.
The smell takes me back to other cabins, to old forgotten blankets in old forgotten rooms. To a misplaced jacket in a messy garage. It takes me back to when I was so young that I didn’t even understand where I was, or why I was somewhere, to a teenager finding myself in the uncomfortable company of some school event in some forest and now here. It’s a smell that has followed me and one that gradually grew from an inconvenience to deeply satisfying nostalgia. I just waited and took it in. I couldn’t help but smile at it. As the moment passed I wanted to get ready for sleep. The bed was made and I wanted to open the window and let in some fresh air. For as much as the smell brought me good memories, I didn’t want to sit in it the rest of the night.
I opened the window and got under the sheets. The same sounds of the rain that I had listened to that afternoon I hear now. Though much sharper, much clearer. No other sounds to distract me, no rustling of my clothes, my senses focussed on the sounds and the sounds alone. The gentle dripping and tapping lulled me in a state of trance and time quickly lost any kind of meaning. For a moment everything was just drops of rain.
As my exhaustion hit me I turned around and was pleasantly surprised by the crisp sheets and it didn’t take long to fall asleep. Even more pleasant was how I woke up in the morning, well rested. The light of the lonely bulb had made room for whatever bits of sunlight could get through the thick clouds. The rain had stopped, but it was still cold and wet outside. Although I was wide awake, I didn’t get up but took my time, staring and taking in all the details in the room. The direction and shape of the wood grains. The dents and scrapes on the furniture, some deep enough to show the wood was lighter than it seemed to be. My bag sat there lonely in the corner, sagging and still looking more wet than I had hoped.
It took a few minutes for me to find my courage and get up. This changed over time as I got older, getting up is not as easy as it used to be and neither is getting quality sleep. Though I did feel refreshed, the open window had cooled down the room, but coming from under those sheets, the feeling was pleasant. I felt just a bit of movement in the air and the cold was tingling in my neck. A long exhale and I decided to find something and call it breakfast.
Entering the larger room, I was apparently the first one. I opened the blinds and looked outside. Everything was wet and glistening, even the trees. The clouds are gray and the trees are just a palette of lighter and darker shades of brown. I notice just now how the shades inside seem to have a lot in common with the shades outside. I make coffee and breakfast. We eat together, converse and slowly let the morning turn to noon.
We get ready for a walk outside. I return to my room and for a moment I need to stop and just take in the atmosphere. To be here with friends is an overwhelming feeling that I had to miss for years. Either because I found a bad reason to not come, or because I felt it wasn’t needed. Nothing less was true though and for all I know, this might be the last time we are together. I’ve often thought about what’s holding us back. We all talk about nostalgia and “the good old days.” But when things come down to it. We decide consciously to not make time for each other and revisit those memories. We would instead rather say we have too many other things to do. Some have families and careers and a lot of reasons to decide to not be here together. I’m happy to make that time now though and I should have done so in the past because it will only get harder to say yes, not easier.