Solitude

April 2, 2020 by Charles Rollins

Dairy cows awaiting their new home

Timber framers often cite grand barns as their motivation for choosing to get involved in the trade. It is hard to ignore the immense capability of a thirty-three by eighty foot barn that can hold three thousand hay bales in the loft, thirty milking cows in the basement, two draft horses on the first floor, and still have enough room for a harvest party at the end of a long summer! Ideas of large gatherings for barn raisings, bringing in a crop, or community events often circulate when people contemplate utilizing  timber frame construction.

In a time where gatherings of any sort seem to be a far off thought, we are reminded of a simpler and, arguably, older type of timber frame, a cabin in the woods. Humans are instinctively social creatures, but simple solitude is a natural, and sometimes welcome, change. While camping can be a wonderful adventure, there is something uniquely comforting about a hand-made timber frame cabin. The robust timbers, precisely and delicately cut, soothe the soul. Natural grains running through the pine wall boards, reminiscent of the unpredictable chaos and beauty of life in the wilderness, soften the edge of stressful everyday responsibilities. When the world seems to swirl around us, sometimes it is best to pack up a few things and head into the woods.

The maple sap runs, a ground hog explores the newly thawed forest floor, and a partridge drums away looking for a mate, all in spite of the 24-hour news cycle. Maybe we should join them?