A Dream Instilled By Memories

Jun 20, 2018

I suffer from an affliction I call Cabin Dreams.

The roots of my disorder are traceable to childhood. I grew up on the shores of the Kishwaukee River near Kirkland. In the summers, once school was out, my family packed up the Buick and headed north to Wisconsin, to our knotty pine cabin on Blue Spring Lake.

Oh, time at the cabin was exquisite: pancakes for breakfast each morning, one pine drawer for all my belongings, and the lake itself, which seemed to bend summer days to its own shape, with shallow bays and windy points and a middle part deep and fathomless.

That childhood cabin is long gone. Having grown up with one, however, a cabin for my adulthood seems right and proper. Leaving aside the niggling question how a teacher comes by a lakefront cabin, I often wonder whether it is better to have a cabin, or just dreams of one.

Longing is its own luxury, after all, and surely the attainment of one desire opens space for new ones. Also, you don’t own a thing without it owning a piece of you. One more responsibility isn’t really part of my dream life. When I reason this out, you see, I come down on the side of having a cabin dream, rather than the thing itself.

But then why do I still long for it, that knotty pine cabin in the hemlock shade on the breezy side of the lake? If you have an answer—or if you have a such a cabin you’re letting go on the  cheap—please, let me know.

I’m Chris Fink, and that’s my perspective.