It must be mid-August; I am mopey, distractible, and nagged frequently by the delusional sense that I am supposed to be somewhere else...a verdant valley, a cove in Maine, an emerald lawn next to a sparkling pool behind a towering swath of privet hedge. This delusion becomes particularly oppressive when I am marketing or doing laundry or some other mundane task here in Brooklyn...no, no, the alternate reality awaits, I am wasting precious time, summer is slipping away and I am in the wrong place.
On Sunday, at least for a while, we were in a Right Place--Wave Hill, a ravishing little botanical garden in (of all places) the Bronx, perched on the Hudson overlooking the green cliffs of the Palisades. Wave Hill has rolling lawns, two spiffy historic houses, and flower-crammed gardens, but our best discovery this week was their woodland path. It led down into a piney grove where some earnest artist had constructed a particleboard cabin containing a camera obscura--part of an exhibition of generally silly art "inspired" by Thoreau, all of which was roundly upstaged by the little signs containing Henry David's actual prose, which holds up really well. (Better, I'd imagine, than the art in his honor, like the "installation" made of cut-up milk bottles. But I digress.)
Anyway, as we emerged from the woods, I indulged the fantasy that Wave Hill was all mine, and that got me to thinking about house dreams--not "sleep dreams," which I've discussed recently, but daydreams, blue-sky plans, outrageous fantasies for the day one's ship comes in. And in the spirit of midsummer dislocation and drift, I'm going to share a few. (Hey, at least I'm not asking some foundation to grant-fund my milk-bottle depiction of environmental decay. Now that's chutzpah.)
Today's Dream: The CrazyStable Pine Grove. I am obsessed with conifers; I love everything about them, their vast repertory of textures and smells, their magical gift of cones, the ancient peacefulness they impart. And what I want to do most around here is knock down the garage and plant a pine grove. It would have stone and slate pavers and some Adirondack chairs and a table for my book and iced tea. At Christmas, we would weave tiny blue lights among the branches; in snow storms, I would stand in the middle of it and hear that wonderful whispering music that pines make in the snow. Here is the garage, standing empty except for a few bags of garden supplies. And here is a coniferous montage from the gorgeous stands of them at Wave Hill. A great improvement, no?