Atmosphere of Hiding

As a kid, one of my favorite things in the entire world was finding the perfect spot to curl up out of view and read. A feeling so comforting, yet elusive, visited me when I came upon a superb reading corner. Some days the ideal space would be found perfectly situated behind the living room chair in the corner. I spent countless hours in that particular spot, traveling the world, the pages of the book as my sails.

Other times I would climb my favorite tree out back and haul my book up after me by way of a basket tied to a branch with a jump rope. A purely ingenious invention, I thought. The sounds of nature around me as I sprawled out among the branches and the fresh inspiration that my childhood home’s backyard contained for me made reading out there like therapy.

If the Christmas season happened to be present, I could often be found on the far side of the Christmas tree, reading, where no one could happen upon me unnoticed. The holidays spread such magic in my young mind, and I felt the desire to still be a part of the spirit while enjoying my own little space for reading. Of course, the Christmas tree provided just that.

No matter where exactly the nook was, I knew I had found a good one when I couldn’t wait to get back to it and further immerse myself in worlds that I could visit only through reading.Though my teenage years differed greatly from those of my childhood, I still had my bed at an angle that created a perfect little crevice next to it for talking on the phone or simply laying there in thought. Even though disappearing behind a chair became less feasible, I still had a hideaway of my own.

These little spaces were my hideouts. They were spots where I ran when I felt overrun with emotion or when the world became too much to handle. They were places I could call my own and find some level of comfort that none of the places that contained other people offered. I found safety and comfort in those secluded spaces and moments.

Reading itself creates a crevice of its own, so it was only natural for the child version of myself to find a location conducive to this idea as I sailed momentarily away from my own world and into someone else’s.


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