The House in the Woods: What Comes with the Wild Things

The green dragonfly, big as my hand, bounced on the window like a hard drunken ghost, and I woke this morning in the fear of the wild things. 

What a good husband mine is. He took all four boys away for the weekend, and I got to knock out the moving boxes. I’ve touched nearly every single thing we own, and I found all the special places for our special things. I’ve cared for Isaac’s snakes, even fed them mice. I’ve walked around the yard in my nightgown, calling my chickens and growling at my dogs if they looked tempted. We do all love chicken tenders.

We are the girl creatures here: the two dogs, my 6 lady birds, and me. All 9 of us perked in a sudden toward the hill over the pond. We call it Whisper Pond, but something yonder wasn’t whispering. There are bobcats and coyotes here like what I grew up around when I was a little girl. Maybe it was a rabbit cry. 

The pond is clean, got a spring in it. The bass, the catfish, bream, they all have their special flash in the sun. They come to shore and say their hi. 

I’ve got chiggers up the back of my legs and a found tarantula in a box. I’ve got wasps building castles in a covered electrical outlet, and I have a clubhouse with a pirate flag. 

After the animals (I swear there’s a dead hog on the side of the road), the yip of an occasional dog, and the motor of the sometimes yard-work, there is nothing – but silence. It’s so quiet that the ears vacuum in on themselves. It has a mirage effect, a sound hallucination. Listen close, and the hills purr. They moan. Creation has a yearning heart.

Sometimes it’s hot, and we’ll take it off and go about like Eden because no one is here, and sometimes we’ll pile it on, because it’s coming cold and company. Everybody’s bringing instruments. At Whisper Pond we’ll sing. At the porch, we’ll make a fire, and we’ll sing. At the end of the night, we’ll never have been more sober.

Be afraid in the woods; I saw a cottonmouth. Be afraid, but peace isn’t absent of fear. I woke this morning in the peace of the wild things, and I was never ever in all my desert and garden-walking days more glad. 

If you want more of my story, how I came to understand home and the broken way there, you can read my book Wild in the Hollow. Thank you always for joining me here.

The amazing pic up top is from my man, Seth.

About me


Southern Gal
Reply September 8, 2015

You've made me yearn to get out and listen to creation today.

Reply September 8, 2015

Hi Amber -- I've been reading your blog on and off for a while now. Bought your book and soaked it up this weekend. Grateful for your honesty, your storytelling, and the way you're calling us 'home'. This post reminded me to take a step outside to let God's creation refresh my soul. Hope settling into your new house goes well.

Reply September 8, 2015

I always look forward to your posts. They not only run all wild over my soul and make it stand to attention, they challenge me to be a better writer. You are brave and naked before judgment and craving. That's how I feel as a writer. Some judge, while others want more of the stories God has engraved on our hearts. Hope you don't mind I have borrowed some of your bravery!

Diana Trautwein
Reply September 8, 2015

Lovely - so glad for all of you to be home, at last. We are, too, after a tumultuous few months which are not quite over. Still two house projects to do here at the new place! I'm working on that piece for next week, I promise. Maybe tomorrow I'll send it on to you?

Reply September 12, 2015

Just love when husband's give their wives the gift of solitude, so essential for our souls, sometimes so fragmented! I love your eloquent writing, bringing us into the beauty of your moments, sharing God's creation, its fierce and tender beauty.

Ashley Hales
Reply September 16, 2015

I just love your rolling and weighty prose (weighty in the best sense -- in that it points to glory). You take us elsewhere, even in the moving boxes. Thank you Amber. And also I'm so glad you had the weekend to make your new home into home.

Leave a comment

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