There are those days, those times, when we need a private space. Some place that provides us with a sense of security. The place could be mental or physical.
Even for a young prince of the household… which I certainly was, catered to by my Mom and Dad… Mommie Soph, Paul, Lynn and Bessie… there were some days lost in solitary play, other days camouflaged by worry and fear… and strangely, always a happy warmth.
Maybe it was because I rebelled against taking naps. Or maybe it was a laissez-faire approach that my parents took to a child coming nine years after Lynn. Regardless, there was a point when my childhood naps were not structured. They took place on an ad hoc basis when I tired from play… and I would simply drop down to catch a few winks where ever I happened to be. Under the dinning room table. Behind the wing chair in the living room. On an arbitrary stair leading up to the second floor.
Or, in my private space.
The banister on the staircase from the center hall curled to the right at the base and at its foot there was a small place that was perfect for a temporary perch… somewhat hidden from view and next to a radiator.
The radiator part proved important for naps during the winter months… it made the small space even cozier. I would pigeon hole myself there, knees drawn up, arms crossed to retain warmth… and I would drift into a nap, listening to the general murmur of the home, footsteps, activity in the kitchen and muffled voices.
If our Bedlington Terriers took notice of me, I can’t say.
I can remember liking that I was out of the regular trade route of the house, that my presence, while obvious to me, could be misplaced… that I could be “lost”, yet still there… and found (if necessary).
The decades have passed. I am grateful that I have my “blue den-chair”, worn down to comfortable perfection. Great for slouching, hanging my legs over the arms and good for promoting poor posture. Ideal for reading, watching the tube, sipping a martini or snoozing.
And occasionally when the need for a nap sneaks up on me, my mind takes me to that private space on a winter’s morning, next to a gurgling radiator. Even in memory it is a place of safety.