One Year Later: Cradled in the Bosom of the Mountains

November 11, 2021

I’d been cradled in the bosom of the mountains and didn’t even know it.  

Last year I shared that my pre-moving mantra was “I’d like to live somewhere where I can walk out my door and into the woods, and I’d love for there to be mountains.” And how, miraculously, I’d manifested them. 

I’m getting to know myself pretty well these days. While an adventurous sun sign in Sagittarius loves to explore new places, my Taurus moon/rising is very much a homebody. Everywhere I’ve lived as an adult I needed to make my home comfortable and beautiful. Taurus loves home. And beauty. Heck, even my childhood forts needed to feel homey.

Also, I tend to stick pretty close to home – hence my desire to be able to walk out my door into the woods rather than having to get in the car to drive somewhere beautiful.

Mission accomplished. The woods are my backyard and even delivery men and women do a jaw drop at the view of the mountains.

As a child (and even as an adult) I would lament when our yearly one week vacation in Northern Michigan would end and the scent of Pine trees would become a memory that would need to sustain me until we returned the following summer.

Now, giant White Pines line my driveway and inhabit the woods behind the house, living in harmony with Eastern Hemlock, Birch, Beech, Oak, Maple and Ash.

New Hampshire is blessedly covered with trees: 84.3% (4.8 million acres) to be exact, and second only to Maine.

But, back to the mountains.

A couple of weeks ago I ventured across the road into the wildlife sanctuary. It’s the view that I stare at for hours on end. 

With five southern-facing windows and a door, I witness an ever-changing landscape of mountains, trees, swamp, creek, clouds and fog. It’s where I saw a moose playing in the water.  

When I reached the boardwalk in the middle of the swamp, I turned around and looked towards my house (photo above – first teeny house on the left). I’d been living here for a couple of months when a friend walked out there with me. I was shocked to see that there are mountains BEHIND my house and the woods. On all sides! 

I am literally cradled in the bosom of the mountains. In the foothills of the White Mountains, to be exact.

So, I’ve been wandering around the land here the past several days floating in a state of gratitude. It’s November 11th and one year has passed since my moving day.

11 is a magical number for me. 11/11 is extra magical. November is a powerful month. The veil between our world and the spirit world begins to thin. If you get quiet and pay attention, you will feel it.

The day I moved in I felt as though I’d stepped through a portal. Time slowed down and yet also seemed to speed up. I float through my days unaware of the time and often of the date, as well. My focus shifted away from busy life as I knew it to coexisting in the landscape.

What have I been doing all these months?

Quite simply, I’ve been in a state of BEing.

Watching and learning from the plants. And the mountains. The stars in the sky. The animals.

They are healing me. Healing that I don’t think I even realized I needed. Deep healing. Slowing me down.

There must be a reason I inserted mountains into my mantra. I’d never lived near them before. Turns out, they are the ultimate Nature antidote for someone who needs grounding. Along with trees, of course.

This has been one of the most important years of my life. Most of the highlights have been simple pleasures.

Growing my first ever vegetable and herb garden. I didn’t do it justice this year but I learned a lot. Mostly, it takes a lot more care than I gave it.

Driving to a local spring to fill my water jugs.

Opening my door and looking up at the moon and the stars.

Sitting by the river.

Bonding with wild Yarrow, Mullein, Mugwort, Red Clover, Dandelion, Goldenrod, New England Aster, St. John’s Wort and more.

First and foremost I learned that just because these plants exist here in abundance doesn’t mean I need to over harvest them. I learned to ask, with respect and only take what I need. Sometimes that meant not taking any at all.

I let the property go wild and found myself living on top of a meadow. I’ve never seen so many dragonflies and butterflies and bees.

I came here a bit of a happy hermit and find myself now with new friends who share a similar outlook on the state of the world as well as a deep love of Nature. Plus, we laugh a lot. They have already taken up residence in my heart.  And as much as I love my solitude, it is comforting to know that there are people nearby who care about me and would be here in a flash if I was in need. 

I’ve recently been given the go-ahead to use the beautiful barn which I’ve been pining after all year. I’m hoping it will get me creating again. There’s something magical about a barn.

I saw a total of five bears this year. All right here at The Bear Den.

Bear number one seemed more like a mirage lumbering down the path in the woods at dusk. It was the first time I’d seen a bear in the wild.

The second sighting was at 5am one morning when I looked out my bedroom window and saw something dark moving through the meadow on the hill. By the time I got my binoculars I saw a mama bear with her two cubs crossing the road and headed into the swamp.

Number three happened as I was about to turn into my driveway one morning. I saw movement on the side of the road and slowed down, thinking it was a wild turkey. Just a few feet from me was a black bear in the ditch. We locked eyes for about twenty seconds before I had to move on with a car approaching behind me.

I’ll admit that after the first sighting my unease of meeting a bear in the woods intensified for several weeks. But, by the time the third bear sighting had happened I noticed that my trips into the woods had become more relaxed. My anxiety had changed to anticipation of seeing one of these incredible animals.

I stacked one and a half cords of wood for the winter! My eyes were like saucers when I saw how much wood was on that truck as he dumped it all into a giant pile. It became my meditation, stacking those logs. 

And, just yesterday I learned a new way of starting a fire in my wood stove. The Swedish top down approach. It works like a charm.

Next project is a fire pit out front on the hill. I can’t wait to sit by the fire under the stars.

I’m definitely doing that “living in the moment” thing. I have never been someone who liked to dwell on the past or look to the future. Even as a child, I remember having these thoughts.

As I grew into adulthood, I would get crabby if someone asked me “What do you want to do/be in six months, a year, ten years, etc.” Ugh. 

Ditto dragging me back into the past to hash over old regrets.

Yes, this most certainly has been a year of BE-ing.

The seasons here in order of preference this first year are as follows: Fall, Winter, Summer, Spring (the bugs drove this verdant green season to the bottom of my list). Sorry ticks and black flies. You are despicable.

And now, just a few words about life outside of my idyllic setting here. Yes, this wacky internet world keeps me connected to what’s happening. And a local Google Group for our sleepy little town has shown itself to be a microcosm of the ugly divide happening in our world. It’s shocking, really.

I don’t know about you but there are far too many elephants in the room with regard to relationships. So much is going unsaid as we try desperately to stay connected.

It’s been another tough year for Sagittarians. We want the Truth and we don’t really like small talk.

So, I have continued to research everything I can about this PLandemic and I hope you are, as well.

I’m especially disturbed about what’s happening with the children who are powerless and now living in a dystopian world. 

The normalization of mask-wearing triggers a rage in me that I’m not even sure where it’s coming from. The fact that it doesn’t even bother many young people – some of them feel more comfortable with one on – makes me so sad for their future. The adults still clinging to them, or wearing them outside, well I don’t waste too much time fretting about them anymore.

And the experimental jab that’s not a vaccine being given to young children – if I focus too long on that I go to a very dark place. 

I am happy that some of the parents I know are fierce mama and papa bears who are protecting their children at all costs. I don’t envy them. It’s a tough time to be raising young children.

I have worked really hard trying not to impose my beliefs of what is happening on others but I will not, EVER, hold back on speaking up. 

I just went into the woods to clear my head from this screen staring. The only sound I could hear was the occasional leaf breaking free from its branch and fluttering to the ground.

I hope that wherever you are – especially if that wherever is in the city – you are able to retreat to a quiet place in Nature, if only for a few minutes every day. My daily bike rides by the river kept me sane when I lived in the city. 

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts about my first year here with you. I feel myself preparing for hibernation along with the bears. How about you?

Much love,

P.S. This post is dedicated to Jamie and Mia. When a writer sends words out into the ethers, it’s always an added bonus to have readers who genuinely look forward to what you’ve written.These two dears have reached out to me so many times to tell me this so I wanted to acknowledge them both. Thank you, Jamie and Mia! xo

  1. Beautiful reflection of the past year, With so many wonderful images of the landscape and its wildlife.

    • Thank you, Bonnie! xo

      • Hi Barbara, thank you so much for sharing your reflections of the past year, your new home sounds amazing!
        I’m also wanting to move to Hampshire in the UK cos the energy there is lovely and it’s on a very long leyline that reaches from one end of the country to the other.

        I wish you many more blessings in your mountain cradle 🙏💜
        Love and hugs, Gael xxoo

    • Thank you so much for sharing Barbara, I so look forward to reading about your adventures living at the Bear Den… I’m living vicariously through you, as I plot and plan my escape from subdivision land in Illinois, lol… I love that you walk out your door and the woods are your backyard 💛💛💛 I don’t know about all those bears though 😳.

      • Thanks for reading, Amy! You will find your new home. Just keep mantra-ing 🙂 and taking baby steps. As for the bears – it’s pretty miraculous that my fear turned to wonderment in just one summer! xoxo Barbara

  2. Such a beautiful life you’re intentionally leading. Leading for others to follow …
    It’s always fun to read your blogs.
    Blessings on your cozy winter in the bear den.

  3. Thanks so much for your update, Barbara. As I hear of your adventures in the White Mts I am reminded of our trips to and from Nova Scotia across Maine, NH, and Vermont. Amazing, beautiful, sometimes haunting. We took a Covid vacation from mid-Aug to late Sept overlooking a quiet bay on the Northumberland Strait looking 13 miles across to Prince Edward Island. A bird sanctuary. Peace. Returning home was hard. Consciously trying to recreate that sense of peace….just as you describe leaving N Michigan for urban living. Not sure what the future holds but we do know what is important to incorporate what we had there. We are both retired now so we have opportunity to imagine and plan. That takes courage. Can’t predict our outcome. Keep posting. The challenges of I-net access in rural areas can be frustrating!! I’ll remember your comment – take a walk! All the best as you face another fall & winter. Blessings from us.

    • Ardele! I’m sending the biggest of hugs to you and Lynda! I miss our adventures together. The waterfall day in Hawaii is especially tucked away in my memory bank. 🙂 So much love to you both and just keep shining that beautiful light of yours. xoxo Barbara

  4. What a beautiful share Barbara, thank you. When I read your words I feel as though I am there with you! Love you my friend. ❤️

    • I wish you were my neighbor, Mary! Oh, the adventures we would have. I miss you, my friend. Hope you are well. xoxo B

  5. Always wonderful to hear from you. 💕

    • Hi Lynn! Always nice to hear from you, too! I hope you are well and navigating the world with your beautiful Spirit! Love, Barbara

  6. Hi Barbara,
    I left a comment yesterday after I read your blog. I don’t see it now after ( after Bonnie Toomey’s)
    I LOVED this blog !!
    I am very proud of you !!!
    Your Big Sis

    • Aww, my big sister! Thank you! I’m a little slow getting to the comments. But, here I am. One of the greatest gifts of these past two years has been connecting on a deeper level with you, Carol. Love you! xo Barbara

  7. Hi Barbara, I’ve been thinking about you, wondering how you are doing. So good to hear you are in this incredibly beautiful and grounding place. You seem content there. And what a view! Times indeed are strange and I love how you said, “I have worked really hard trying not to impose my beliefs of what is happening on others but I will not, EVER, hold back on speaking up.” This is essentially what I’ve settled on. So much of what’s going on is causing great pain in my heart and I try to distract myself by thinking about the good in the world and by spending time in nature with my youngest. I wish you a restful and restorative winter and look forward to reading your next post. Much love!

    • Hi Lily! Wow, I am getting these precious comments from people I haven’t heard from in a long while. What a gift. I hope you have a restorative winter too. Are you still in Canada? Things have been tough for our neighbors to the north. I had no idea when I moved here how close I would be to the Canadian border – New Hampshire borders Canada. But, alas. I can’t cross the border. 🙁 Sending you so much love and remembering our time studying together! xo Barbara

      • Yes, I’m in Toronto. You might be north of me! Hope your bear den will keep you warm and cozy in the winter:)

        • Maybe one day we’ll meet again. I have friends in the Toronto area. Yes, looking forward to hibernating. I have wood stacked and ready to go! xoxo

  8. Hi My soul sister Barbara, it’s been awhile, so happy to hear about your 1 yr adventure in your Bear Den. You are really living the life you manifested, I
    was feeling excitement as reading your story, I felt I was there with you❣️ You always seem to take me on your journey in such a unique way, can’t explain it, it’s wonderful for me🤗 I would love to do what you are doing, and I feel I am as I read on🧡 yes being a Taurus I definitely know about being a home body, comfort, and cozy, I’m sure your den house is just that. Love,❤️blessings,🙏💫yes I live in Los Angeles, Ca and I do make it a priority to
    be around nature, and water, I take my pups to parks with lakes. I can’t even imagine the dark beautiful skies and stars staring back at you,it must feel mystical, my sister lives in the desert in PS where in the evenings the skies were filled with beautiful stars, now Elon Musk took our skies over with his WiFi satellites😏 so we see his bright lights, everyone thinks their UFO’s😆oh well
    I’m living vicariously through you🥰

    thank you and please keep writing. Your story made my evening❣️Love your spirit,Enjoy hibernating🤪🐶 I love it💖❤️🍁🍇🌹🌟💫🙏🙏

    • Dear Sheila, Your comment made my evening!! It’s so nice to hear from you. I love hearing from old soul friends who are still miraculously on this list. 🙂 When I lived in the city I was like you – searching for Nature wherever I could. It really is a gift to open my door, step outside and see the moon and the stars. Thank you for taking the time to write to me. And, ugh. Elon Musk. 🙁 Sending you a big big virtual hug! xoxo Barbara

  9. Loved reading this!

  10. Thanking you for sharing. I was wondering how you were doing. Glad you are well and still on your journey. Take care. Rita

  11. As always, it is an incredible feeling to read your blogs dear Barbara! I place myself in your shoes, and I savor each moment you describe! I especially adore how it feels to step out of your door into the magic and beauty of the stars! I am blessed to be in the Appalachian Mountains, yet the city lights block the stars from my view.
    I feel the same way as you regarding the plandemic. It is beyond insanity what is taking place!
    So much love to you! Happy Birthday dear Sag! I am so happy that you are so happy where you are, and that you are BEing! Your high vibrations are shifting the Earth!
    Love, Gigi

    • Gigi!! You were literally on my mind this morning! Let’s connect soon, my friend. Thank you for your kind words. xoxo Barbara

Leave a Reply to Gael Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *