I’m pulling a leaf from Henry David Thoreau. He put down his newspapers and went to his cabin in the woods. He grew beans. Lots of beans.

I’m taking a vacation from the news and the craziness with which the world is now flooded. I stay more in my small house in the quiet woods. It is an oasis of slow, lazy days where I can choose when and with whom I communicate. I now leave the machinations of society to everyone else. I swim in the soft silence of winter.

I turn, instead, to my books; I’m going through my baskets of yarn and looking through my decades-old patterns for things I want to knit. (I now have eight great-grandkids and five more on the way. Those knitting needles will get a workout.) I’m going through my paints and brushes, canvases and art papers with plans of starting to paint again. Instead of the news, I have a few favorite YouTubers who resonate with my soul and provide a few minutes of calm. My favorite YouTuber, “The Cottage Fairy,” is like a cup of chamomile with her short videos full of simple wisdom and inspiration, not from advising, but from sharing.

Her videos resonate with my soul, remind me of what I know is so, deep down, what I try to achieve in my little forest haven, but what I forget by letting the world sneak in. And she’s also an artist. She paints simple and delicate flowers that she gathers from the foothills and whimsical fairies and little animals. She has a successful Etsy shop for her paintings.

Spring is bringing things back to life — re-creation. The maple trees’ lifeblood will soon be flowing — maple syrup time. I will take my jug to a sugaring house and beg for some raw sap for drinking. Up on my grandparents’ farm in the North Woods, where I spent my formative years, there was a huge grove of sugar maples down in the forest. We called it “The Thousand Trees.” It had originally, decades before, been carefully tended by Native Americans. They taught us newcomers how to boil down the sap. They would go each spring to the groves and boil down their syrup. They actually boiled it down in birch bark “pots.” It’s a physics thing. You can actually boil water in a paper cup over an open fire. Only the rim above the water level will burn.

The farm, built by my great-grandfather Tucker in 1848, originally had 500 acres. I remember farmers, come sap time, with double-braced horse teams drawing large, stainless steel tanks down into the grove to get sap for their sugaring houses. We had a huge cast-iron “witches cauldron” in the grove that, with a fire underneath, boiled down our own year’s supply of syrup and we kids would pour syrup into the snow to make soft maple “candy.”

My Grampa Roy hung a bucket with a dipper on one of the two big sugar maples out back of the farmhouse, one with my farm swing, for us kids to enjoy the sweet sap at will.

Now, with each day’s sun waking up a few minutes earlier, so shall I try, too. From sun-up to 8 or 9 a.m., the world is mine, uninterrupted by man-sounds (and my house is surrounded by woods so no sight of “man,” either). No deliveries or even robocalls or visitors, except my very welcomed titmouse, nuthatches, chickadees and now, joy, my goldfinches have arrived, all busy taking turns at the window feeder 3 feet from my keyboard.

I’m looking through seed catalogs for mostly herb and flower seeds to fill my wonderful raised bed, raised waist high, that my dear son-in-law made for me a couple of years ago. But I probably won’t grow many beans.

I hereby resolve to soak in the waking day’s harmony, and a Cottage Fairy video, to set up my days in peace and reawakening, reconnecting to myself.

For some time out of time, you might enjoy Cottage Fairy’s videos. They are a sheer delight of tranquility in this raging sea of humanity gone amok. I think of her not as an empath, but a soul-soother. Her videos provide not only a respite from things we cannot change in the world at the moment, but a reminder that we can create our own moments of tranquility in our own days, our own world-space of calmness that can, in turn, not only help us through the storm, but remind us that storms do not last forever. Skies clear and rainbows rise.

Here’s a good introduction to Cottage Fairy’s peaceful world. She does her own photography, which often includes her dog and black bunny. Her scenes are like paintings, her lighting taking advantage of natural light at its best. Her soft watercolors provide the natural and the whimsical that we can all use in our lives. She has a long list of videos. I use them as bookends to start and end my days. They are like a cup of chamomile tea. And remember, as you watch her “Simple Spring …” video, our spring is on the way. It cannot be stopped. And the lilacs will bloom again.

TheCottageFairy, “rethinking how I spend my time ”

Marion Tucker-Honeycutt, an award-winning columnist, a Maine native and graduate of Belfast schools, now lives in Morrill. Her columns appear in this paper every other week.

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