Monday, August 15, 2011

Childhood for Sale

In his eloquent The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard wrote, "I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace."

I have known, in my life, two places that fulfilled this ideal. One was my grandparents' home, where I lived for most of my teenaged years. It was a historic home, built in the thirties, with lovely art deco touches, surrounded by palms and fruit trees. They sold it nearly ten years ago.

The other was the cabin. We spent summers there from my infancy up. It's a little, rustic place in the heart of Arizona Rim Country, which, for those of you not in the know, means it is surrounded by pine trees in a basically alpine climate. There's a creek that runs along the border of the property (it is, technically, the East Verde, I THINK), with two waterfalls.

In late summer, you can pick blackberries there and, with the proper guide, wild butter mushrooms. There's a wild, inedible pear tree on the property. I learned to roast marshmallows over an open fire there. The ruins of my childhood fort can still be discerned.

Many of my nocturnal dreams are set there because it is the kind of place upon which the mind fixes. I know every rock and bush on its slopes.

Yesterday, my grandfather took a prospective buyer out to look at the place.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

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