In the mid 1860's, Dickinson begins to voluntarily withdraw from social life, preferring to speak with visitors through a door rather than face-to-face. This time in her life lead to her most productive writing period. She stayed social by regularly corresponding numerous letters to favoured friends.
As her mother's health declined. Emily spent more time in her family home. Her father had a conservatory added to "The Homestead" to accommodate Emily's love of nature all year round. This could be an influence towards the common theme of nature in many of Emily's poems. Emily also had her own room where she spent most of her time writing poetry and letters. Her room and the conservatory were quiet places for writing while being close to her ailing mother.
At this time, Emily's behaviour began to change. She rarely left the Homestead unless it was urgent as early as 1867. According to the locals, she was hardly seen and when she was, she was dressed in white. The only single item of clothing survived by Emily is a white cotton dress from around 1878. She only wore white because she believed it symbolised that the flames of passion should burn white hot. White was not a symbol of purity or innocence but the immense passion. Only a few members of the town exchanged messages with her in the last fifteen year of her life.
A solemn thing – it was – I said –