The thing I know I want but am not supposed to yearn

I want to own a shack in the woods, along a river with a porch and a sleeping loft for the kids. A stove and a sink. An old wooden table and a canoe leaning on the outside wall. Doesn’t have to be far away. The closer the better. A place to spend the night, the day, no more than a long weekend. Stop by for a couple of hours and be back home for dinner. Grill outside. A table under the trees. Open shelves in the kitchen. A fireplace would be good. One bedroom. One bathroom. A place to shoot a bow or an air rifle. A place to skip stones. Never completely done. Always a project to do. Something to build. Something to sand. Something to stain. Wood to be chopped. A place to pour a bit of my soul. A place to let it rest.

I want to read on the porch, hang a towel from a line to dry in the late summer sun dappling through the trees. And in the fall, I want to see my breath when I step outside and the leaves as they tumble down to the river. I want it to smell like wood and popcorn oil. I don’t want to entertain there. Maybe a friend or two. Maybe just me, the wife and kids. Maybe just me sometimes. Maybe just the kids when they get old enough. I wonder if its along the Little Miami, if we passed it two summers ago when we took the boys canoeing.I can see the idea of it so clearly.

And on the walls, I want to hang the things I would never hang in our prim suburban home, where old is store-bought and homes are designed by sight instead of feel. Nothing valuable. Nothing fine. Just the things that speak to me in a way I can’t quite understand. Like the place, this tiny shack, this meager cabin.

This place I dream about, but don’t quite see.


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