To write. To read. To think. To dream. To live with simplicity and truth.
That is what I’m undertaking by living in solitude in this small cabin.
Unlike my great, great grand uncle, I won’t be staying here for two years, two months, and two days. I will stay as long as it takes. As what takes? As it takes to find purpose, direction, and a true path.
My cabin is small and similar to the original, and I have my own bean patch, though I won’t be growing beans, only apples, plantains, and grapes, at least in the beginning.
Unlike Henry David, I won’t be entertaining daily visitors, unless my visitors are butterflies and dragonflies. I won’t be walking into town for a hot meal, village gossip, and acts of civil disobedience. My protests will be in my writing and in living a life that runs counter to the fast-paced bustling commotion that surrounds this small plot of land.
Yes, I do have an internet connection, but that’s part of the agreement I signed. The Emerson Foundation gifted me this land on the condition that I keep a weekly blog of the experience–a chronicle of the living gift of solitude in a world too busy to hear the beat of its own heart.
While Henry David talked with the farmers at the village store, I chat online with the laborers of the modern day.
It may seem like a strange undertaking for a young woman. But what did my parents expect when they named me Henrietta Davida?
How can one be a true pioneer when the world is settled? By turning inwards. By discovering the limits of one’s own perception and understanding. By developing, within the scope of one’s own solitary experience, the capacities of the mind, the imagination, and the creative heart.