In lieu of a proper Poemography post this week (because those take WORK, and I’m kind of not willing to expend that right now #sorryimnotsorry), I’m going to spare a few minutes (or thirty) here rambling about magic places. Magic, safe places. Enchanted places. Wonderful places. Wondrous places. See? Ramble.
First there is the library. There isn’t a card system, or any overdue fines, or any computers or organization system or even librarians, unless you count the moths and mice. There’s a short, winding footpath that you take to get there. There’s an American flag flapping outside. This is the building where my parents married, and there are antlers affixed to the wall inside.
It’s made of logs, like everything here. There’s a few decrepit washing machines inside, a bucket of ping-pong paddles and balls but no table, and cushy moth-eaten daybeds. There’s tables to be rolled out come the 4th of July, when everyone brings their famous Jell-O Salad Spectacular and their most festive garb.
There’s a typewriter with no paper or ink, on a table next to a hibernating Shop-Vac, for the kids to bang around on. Including this kid.
Typewriters thrill my soul.
And this is the inside of the library. It’s nothing much, but it’s everything.
I found a Copyright-2006 book there today, which is an immense rarity. Mostly these are 1950’s-70’s, at the latest. They’ve all acquired that lovely and acrid and wholesome yellowing-book smell. And mostly they aren’t literature books, but they’re books with character, books with backstory and history and so many varied noses inside of them, all laid out and free for the taking. It’s like a home for misfit books, and I want to make all of them my babies.
Honestly, the fact that places like this still exist are what kindles my hope for the future. Pictures can’t really capture the aura of the free-for-all run-down library. It’s magic, and mysterious, and historic, and lovely.
Then there is the dock. Nothing actually docks on this dock. It’s T-shaped and floats in the middle of the oh-so-creatively-named Second Lake.
And it’s rickety and creaky and bobby and old and overall not too structurally sound but you step onto it and suddenly you are The Focal Point of the World.
There’s just no other way to describe it. It puts you in your place. You are small and the world is huge and beautiful and amazing and you better galdang appreciate that for the brief time you spend here. And it’s quiet. The kind of quiet that you literally can’t imagine after living in a city. Sometimes people fly-fish, and then there’s that soothing skimming of the line, and there’s the trill of bird and the creak of the planks, but it’s silent. In a way that really should be eerie, but is the exact opposite. Peaceful. Very peaceful.
I meditated on it. Which, really, what?? I know; not usually my thing. I’m pretty high-strung and, to be honest, I revel in being high-strung. It keeps the ideas flowing and the mind bouncing around so as not to dwell on any one thing for an inoptimal length of time. But it felt like The Thing To Do, and kind of renewed my faith that there is A Thing “out there”, regardless of what that Thing may be.
Tepee (my cabin village) has always been my safe haven. You can’t feel sad, or stressed, or pressured here. There’s no one here you don’t know and there’s nothing really disturbing the peace and most importantly there’s no Society. I blame the constructs of Society for a lot of life’s daily stress and problems, which is maybe not the most healthy or proactive attitude to have about life, but…being here just reinforces that belief system. Here, a boy from another state that we didn’t even know randomly dropped by our cabin last evening to ask if he could play with Little Bro, because he’d seen him in the yard earlier. Here perfect kid strangers strike up impromptu baseball games with one another—here even I can bond with someone over fort-building and minnow-grabbing. I don’t have to be a high-performing teenage academic or any of the other labels that are inevitable slapped on me—I can revert to Wild Child status in its most innocent form, and romp in the stream at the base of a waterfall.
Special-looking toes, grimy sweatpants, and all.
This is my safe haven. It’s wonderful here.