Friday, October 16, 2009

The Hollow

I grew up in a magical place. Magical and perfect. My childhood home sat in front of 40 acres, complete with towering trees to climb, a small river and pond to splash in, and mazes of bushes and shrubs so large, I never explored them all. The area was known as “The Hollow,” due to its location in what I'll call, a ravine. There were many hills to trek up, and although none were very large, I felt like a conqueror each time I crested the top. Many hills climbed above the ravine and had spectacular views of the surrounding mountains; I would sit at the top for hours, soaking up the beauty around me.
Now, the Hollow is a housing development and a tattered, depressed shadow of what was once my paradise on Earth. Often, I like to think when I die, my spirit will revisit that happy place as it used to be, perfect and intact. I’ll hop over the fence near my house and joyfully walk across the grassy plain to the pond, shaded by large willows and filled with stinky moss. I’ll trot down the hill adjacent to the pond and climb aboard the rope swing—a dangerously old, insecurely hung, fraying piece of rope with a sharp-ended stick loosely knotted at the bottom to serve as a seat. Apparently saftey was never my concern as a kid. I’ll climb up to a platform on the tree and jump into flight. I’ll lean my head back to let my hair swish about my head and I’ll peer up through the dark green, intertwined leaves where I’ll see patches of perfect blue. I’ll swing back and forth through the dancing light, swirling and swimming between earth and sky, green and blue—smelling the fermented rot of old leaves against the new buds of growth; and listening to the splish-splash of the river over little rocks and large pebbles until my worries and frustrations have no choice but to give in to the serenity of this peaceful place.
Maybe it will be fall time and the crisp air will match the crisp leaves crunching under my feet as I walk through tunnels of pumpkin orange, cinnamon-candle red, and hard candy lemon yellow. The air will smell like frozen sagebrush and frozen dirt—and all will be wonderful. Or maybe it will be winter with the sounds of happy children sledding down the hills. Or Spring time when the purple flowers grow and the cotton trees release fuzzy white snow onto the freshly green grass. Or maybe it will be the lazy summer, when all is hot, muggy, and still. Regardless, all will be happy, all will be joyous.

I miss the Hollow. I wish I were still there. I am hopeful, however, that one day, in some form, in some way, I will return to partake in its perfectness. Thank you, God, for giving me the perfect childhood hollow to grow and to learn through. Thank you for keeping it alive and sacred in my heart. It will always be my favorite place.