Anne asked me to submit an entry to Judith's contest. I'm neither artsy nor competitive, but for Anne, I'll submit this.
What is your favorite and most inspiring possession? Tell us about it, and if you want an extra creative challenge... tell us about it without naming it until the very last sentence of your essay:):):)
Favorite and inspiring possessions. Wow, I’ve had so many. Have so many even now, really.
But the one that first comes to mind is a thing that takes me away from everything that taunts me and messes up my peace of mind, from all the stuff that gets under my skin.
Cliff and I supposedly live in the country. We had a rural route address until the telephone 911 law came through, when all country folk were given a town-sounding address with a street name and number.
But it isn't country like you imagine: On one side, I see an un-kept house and yard with a garbage bin always overflowing into the street by our driveway, raided by dogs who string dirty diapers everywhere, while the wind blows plastic bags and paper trash into our yard.
On the other side, I see junk lined up against our property line. A new house is being constructed there which can be seen from almost all vantage points on our forty-plus acres. That means they can see most of our property, so it's hard to find any private place these days.
Looking ahead, to the south, I see more houses.
Children cross through our yard, looking in the windows as they pass. They climb through a hole they created in our fence to play in the pen with my Jersey calf. In the spring, adults climb over fences further back to hunt for mushrooms here, and laugh at me if I catch them in the act and protest. Police show up in the neighborhood sometimes, answering drug-related and domestic disturbance calls.
Motorcycles and four-wheelers buzz past at odd hours, and a steady flow of traffic passes on the gravel road less than thirty feet from my open living room window, sending clouds of dust inside that settle on everything.
One possession has helped me keep my sanity. It lets me forget the crowded, noisy world in which I dwell.
I was afraid to ask my husband for it, because I figured he’d either laugh or get mad about it; besides, I was pretty sure it would cost more than we could afford. But he figured out how to give me what I most needed at this time of my life. Perhaps he laughed inwardly; I know he still doesn't really understand my need to be alone at times, but he gave me the one possession I had to have.
This one thing gave me a ticket away from the crowds, the trespassers, the noises that were slowly driving me out of my mind: the inquiring minds, the people who consider me to be nothing more than a crazy old lady, those who have no respect for anyone else's property.
And Cliff didn't break our budget doing it.
My husband took the skeleton of an old shed and turned it into a cabin for me, a cabin in the woods. Then he dragged it far enough to the back of our place, and down a hill a way, so that when I am there, I can forget about the crowds. When I’m at my cabin, nothing exists except the sounds of the woods and passing trains. The only signs of humanity are miles away, across the river. I answer to no one there except God.
Thank you Cliff. And thank You, God, for my cabin in the woods.
(I could have written the same essay about my horse, Blue... he's my other ticket to sanity.)