Almost every year when the weather turns cool, my husband, his father, and his brothers disappear to the Georgia coastline to fish at a place they know to be sacred. Each of their childhoods are laced with memories of what they simply call “the cabin”, a structure that existed well before any of them were born.
The cabin’s history would be poorly told by me, since I’ve only heard it through a mish-mash of family stories. I do know it was built to be a functional stopping place for travelers by boat and not a permanent residence. There are several of them on the large lot, and each are nestled under giant pine trees -like they’ve always existed together. The view of the water and peace you find there are the only luxuries, but they are more than enough. When I first arrived, I didn’t have to be told that attempts to decorate or spruce up the place were not welcome. I walked in and knew it wasn’t needed.
Little mementos from nature are lined up around the porch with no real rhyme or reason, and nautical trinkets sit where they have for years, echoing trips since passed. When it’s too cool to swim, there’s not much to do unless you fish. I am in the no-fishing category, so I spend my time simply walking around and looking at everything.
But that’s the best part about being here. Nobody comes here to do, you just come to be. On my first visit, I was struck by how much my soul needed the time away from my normal life that the cabin provided. As I sat on the porch swing, I realized how unromantic I had allowed my life to become. I slowly let myself believe that truly enjoying life stopped with childhood and the rest of life was just...busy-ness. Dreaming big was a luxury, and keeping myself occupied prevented me from ever having to face myself -doubts, hopes, and all. One more to-do list accomplished and then maybe I’ll be content.
But that’s never true.
As I realized this bit about me, facing the water without a stitch of makeup, I felt the little stir of hope rise in my chest. Clarity came with my willingness to be still for a moment and listen.
I am allowed to dream and rest. Life is meant to be enjoyed.
What a relief.
Whether I’m in a picturesque cabin with a tin roof, or barefoot in my own backyard, I am allowed to slow down, let my imagination run wild, and have fun. The to-do list that provides contentment upon completion was (and still is sometimes) a never-ending illusion. My soul was weary from self-reliance, always trying to create a perfect life.
I am still learning that I am loved completely separate from my accomplishments, not because of them, and that rest is important. The cabin was the beginning of it, and a place that I look forward to visiting throughout the years.
God apparently loves to confirm his messages, because just a few yards away sits this old store with the name of the cabin site. Contentment Bluff. I suppose I’m not the only one who found contentment after gaining a little perspective here.
Hey there! I’m Briana Strickland. I live and run my design business, Cultivate Interiors, on the outskirts of Columbia, South Carolina. Let’s see...my husband Madison and I have two cats and are currently learning the trials that living in a fixer-upper will put you through. I am helplessly drawn to nature, tattered pieces that could tell a story, and bringing beautiful, purposeful life into homes. If you head over to my blog , Instagram, or Pinterest, you can hang out with me while I share client projects, our own home progress, and what inspires me. See you there!