| The Humble Abode
This is a description of how I envision my portfolio and where it would be situated if it were a place where readers and writers and poets came to relax and enjoy themselves. So loosen your grip on reality and let your imagination focus clearly. Your judgment will prevail I am sure as you find yourself transported to The Humble Abode, a cozy wayside inn nestled comfortably on a hillside within The Field of Trees.
No one ever knows exactly how they arrive on the road from nowhere, it just seems as if they drift of to sleep and then there they are. The sign on the side of the road next to the covered bridge says “The Sparkling brook” and you look down the country lane to see a beautiful stream wandering through the plains. Further along, as you ride comfortably along in the horse drawn sleigh, wrapped comfortably in blankets, snow gently falling, you come to a sign saying “Welcome to The Field of Trees”. The sleigh slides easily through the snow as you are brought to the doors of a rustic, comfortable looking wayside inn with a sign over the door with the words “The Humble Abode” in broad letters. A giant oak tree stands tall with branches spread wide out in the yard and the name “The Wandering Oak” slips knowingly from your lips as you look out upon the ice covered Willowmeer lake that is the Sparkling Brook as it pools up within The Field of Trees. The Whistling Wind speaks your name softly as it rustles through the leafless limbs of The Wandering Oak and you look around for the whippoorwill but he has settled in for his wintry rest.
A sign on the door states clearly to wipe your feet please as you enter and leave your shoes by the door. A comfortable looking bench sits off to the left as you shake off the cold and kick off your shoes. An elderly man is sitting there with a book open and reading with a glint of enjoyment in his eyes. The clerk takes your baggage as you look around the lobby. People of all ages are sitting in chairs or scanning the books on the shelves, the smell of fresh brewed coffee is in the air mixing with the aroma of fresh baked bread and stew cooking in the kitchen. As you follow the clerk he takes you through the main room where there are more books and a few comfortable chairs and couches placed for your convenience. A fire burns warmly in the fireplace and the most comfortable looking chair in the room sits empty, looking out the main window above the lake. You wonder why as you are led towards the stairs to the living level and your room.
The stairs are broad and easy to ascend with a solid railing and high ceiling. The rooms are large and comfortable looking with a nice large bed and a desk for writing and, of course books along the walls. A small basin and a pitcher of warm water sits awaiting you on a table in the corner as the clerk brings in your baggage and your brief case. He says to you as you offer him a tip, “No thank you sir, it was my pleasure”. and “if you need anything else you just ring the bell. As he leaves he looks back with a smile and says politely, “dinner is at 7 sir, beef stew tonight!” You look around yourself with a smile at the room of your dreams, book lined walls, a fireplace with logs crackling, and a comfortable chair in the corner looking out over the lake.
You take a moment to freshen up from your trip and change your clothes for dinner when you notice movement outside on the lake. Out the window you can see several people out skating and going for walks on the clear ice. Over to your left you see children sledding on a tall hill laughing and playing with abandon.
A large dog barks cheerfully among the skaters as he tries to run on the slippery ice, causing gentle laughter to carry through the crisp winter air. You think to yourself, tomorrow I will go out and do some skating, tonight I believe it is time for some good warm reading. You gather your things and put everything where they belong. You place your clothes in the drawer and empty your briefcase on the desk. Pencils sharpened and to the right, erasers to the left and a fresh pad of paper in the middle. And a rubber band bound bundle of notes on the floor. Ready, you think, for later!
You make your way back down to the main room and look around. People have settled in for an evening of reading and social conversation with some soft music floating through the air. Mozart it sounds like, classical and soothing, good music with which to read or write. You look over into the corner, towards that big comfortable chair that was empty earlier. You see a figure there, holding a book, drinking a cup of coffee, and gazing thoughtfully out at the lake.
That is when I look over at you. You see that is me over there, the man with the brown hair flecked with gray. The red beard, more than a little flecked with gray. wearing a comfortable old flannel shirt and blue jeans and a pair of old wool socks. You see, I am the proprietor of this establishment. Owner and operator, reader and writer, and friend to all who wander in off the road from nowhere.
“Please” I say with a smile, “take a book, find a chair and read!”
You look at me with wonder in your eyes and ask “but how do I know which one to pick?”
I answer with a smile, “it doesn't matter my friend, use your own judgment and you can’t go wrong.”
“But how do I know I can trust my judgment?” you ask.
I answer, “Mark Twain once said: How can you depend on your judgment if your imagination is out of focus. Yours is obviously in focus or you would not be here.”
“ But sir,” you shout as I turn to walk over to my chair and pick up my book. “ do you own all of these books.”
I look at you with a fond smile as I think about the many books on the shelves and the stories they have told me over the years. I think hard for a moment and then I answer quietly, “You don’t Own books my friend, they are old friends and loved ones to be cherished and taken care of but never possessed. You don’t Own them but in the end they own you!”
And with that I wander back to my chair by the fire, I pick up my well worn book. I look out the window that looks out over the Willowmeer lake, and gaze with soft fondness at the wandering oak as it stands its steady vigil against the night. I can hear the Whistling wind as it settles down for the night and faintly hear the sparkling brook as it makes its slow wintry way down to the lake. The fire crackles as it burns down and I throw another log on to keep out the cold. I hear a knock at the door and see a late visitor as they arrive from their ride down the road from nowhere and into the field of trees. This is the inn of many peoples dreams and I am glad that I have the opportunity to help some of them to see the beauty in reading.
And with that the story ends as The Humble Abode settles in for a long winter night under a clear cold sky with a full moon on high and more stars alight then you would believe. So use your imagination some day and loosen your grip on reality and maybe you will find yourself appearing next to the sign that says “The Sparkling Brook” and traveling along the road from nowhere!
The Proprietor, owner, operator and friend to all who enter The Humble Abode!