The Odd Stillness of Indian Summer; Reflections of Bellwood
It’s not every day in November that you hit 80 degrees and hover near there for a while. Or my wife is right to be surprised that I am surprised by something that to her seems typical. It just seems the world’s out of place, out of time.
Perhaps that is why I had a dream of my childhood home on Bellwood. It’s s common and natural feeling for me to think I’m back in my bed in my room there before opening my eyes, surprised I am somewhere with a floor-plan different from that.
My dream is often a past (my Mom might be there) or some future (fiends of mine there in adult form using computers in the den), but this one was discovering that my Dad and step-mom moved back, and possibly us with them. I was grateful they didn’t get rid of the wood paneling in the family room, and longed to make friends with neighbors by my old church (not sure what they are using it for now).
I moved there when I turned four, and it went from the model home surrounded on three sides by farmland to the middle of a cluster of suburban subdivisions around the time we moved about 17 years later. The trees we planted are now as tall as the house, and I suspect the new owners are the same ones since we left. I doubt the paneling is actually there and would be hesitant to tour it even if I had the chance.
But the place — in my mind — is deeply associated with the concept of “home” for me. I don’t even remember moving away (it was a chaotic time of dorming and preparing for the birth of my daughter), but I piled ages of memories into it. I don’t mean so much specific times and events, but a density of play, imagination, contemplation. I was very alone there in a way. I don’t think I actually ever had a friend over more than once or twice. But I filled the days with science fiction, model airplanes and ships, discovering metaphysics and Gospels, starting a garden, eating Pringles while watching the Love Boat followed by Fantasy Island.
I don’t think of these things directly often, but they seem to constitute dear strata of my subconscious, and perhaps integral to my identity. It’s like the past life I remember too much about, but it’s still probably not going to be more than a subtle influence on who I am.
Or perhaps I read too much into dreams. But it feels like water stirred up in my emotion, my psyche. Maybe it’s a need, a comfort with the trade-off of discomfort simultaneously. It puts me out of sorts, like I myself am a bit out of place, out of time.
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