Sometime this summer I have to photograph my workspace here in Maine for a blogger—I've forgotten the blog address at the moment—who from time to time shows readers the workspace of various writers/illustrators (best space so far: Diane DeGroat). I've ordered some new seat cushions made for a couple of chairs here in this space; will wait to do photographs after those cushions are done, an an attempt to beautify a bit.
I've been thinking about spaces in general because this past weekend, a gorgeous weekend here in Maine, we mowed a path to a distant corner of a meadow, and then cleared a space and set up a tent for the grandsons. There are two mattresses, a couple of battery operated lanterns, and some plastic Adirondack chairs, and the boys are looking forward to spending nights there (and have already determined that if they take my iPhone with them, they can call home, like ET. Let us hope they don't call to report bickering. I do not want to adjudicate "Make him stop looking at me" late at night, long-distance)
There is something, especially for kids, that makes having a private space immensely appealing. It starts with the 2-year-old climbing into the carton after the new washing machine is delivered, I think. Years ago, when a new edition of "The Secret Garden" was to be published, I wrote an introduction that dwelt on the privacy of the garden, the enclosure of it, as one of the elements that had made the book so appealing to me as a child.
And this was another one I loved:
Here's the Amazon description of the book:
This childhood classic was first published in 1904, and tells the simple, charming story of four young girls and their adventures in the pioneer town of Marquette, MI. The story begins when the girls pull all of the dandelions from the lawn of the cottage behind the local church and thereby obtain the right to use the cottage as their playhouse for the summer. This is a very wholesome and charming tale that has withstood the test of time. The real-life Dandelion Cottage that the story is based upon still exists in Marquette.
And until I read that on Amazon, I had never known about the "real" cottage...so (thanks, Google) here it is:
And now I want to be eleven, and in Michigan, opening that door and moving in.
It isn't really the same, because one can't ever be eleven again, but I guess I do feel a bit that way about my workspace. There is a sanctity, an inviolateness, to it. And that would be true—and is true, I'm quite sure—for those whose workspace is a a corner of a bedroom or a kitchen (as mine once was).
PS Don't worry about the campfire set-up at my grandsons' campsite. No fires allowed without grownups around. And also, it turns out, a permit from the town---$7 per fire---making those the most expensive toasted marshmallows around.