Saturday, May 2, 2009


The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau
I'd like to find more novels that are set in the woods. The woods stimulate my imagination. When I was a child, we played in the woods. The developers were clearing space for houses around the golf course we lived next to and when they would fell trees and burn roots, often a delightful climbing ground would remain for a while before the framers came. I remember hunting for surfaces to designate as a counter or a table. Grassy, mossy earth made magical floors. Over hanging branches gave shade. We had an A-frame cabin for a short while and it sat high above a river. We had to take a short walk to the restroom (outhouse) and we climbed down a steep (to me) rock strewn path to get to the river. I remember one visit to Skagit Wild (that's what we called it) when I became enchanted with a little mossy cubby hole under the trees. I was lost in my imaginings as I pulled up moss, arranged leaves and pebbles, playing "house" in the woods. One time as I approached the tiny, A-framed "bathroom" that faced away from the cabin but had no door, I spied a lizard sitting near the "toilet" and shivered in horror - they are scary. We slept in a loft. There were beds with mattresses, cushioned by our flannel-lined sleeping bags. We cozied under the covers and talked. Again, my mom cooked in the sparse kitchen and exhausted, walked us up and down the steep, rocky path to and from the river below, where periwinkles swam and the water gurgled over the round stones. My parents say that the time we traveled up to Skagit Wild was short-lived, but it imprinted my heart. It was one of my quiet platforms for imagining, not the only one, but an important one. It joins the delightful memories of sack lunches a short walk from the house, hikes around the golf course, and bike rides up and down the black-topped roads in our rural neighborhood. That does it, I'm going out for a walk.


The Mud Spattered Man said...

You sound like Henry David Thoreau... wasn't he the guy who wrote Gattica?

Bill said...

Vintage Pom Pom...