As a kid, you would always find me on my bike en route to the forest with the boys. As a self-stated tom boy, I had little time for dolls as I wanted to build stuff. In the forest, we would bear culled wood to make tree forts. Everyone in our group would communally contribute a board, nails or a found ladder, a piece of cloth for the curtain and a whack of carpet for the floor. Someone’s mom would bake chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies and we’d play for hours, always protecting our coveted home base, from errant mischief makers and perceived enemies.
We’d all pinky swear never to share our secret hidey hole, especially with any adults or stupid prissy girls whose sole profession with to giggle inanely. We were serious about our cowboy adventures using cap guns to protect our dominion. If someone leaked its whereabouts, they were kicked out of the secret club without a word. Within a day, under the cloak of darkness having snuck out of the windows of our parent’s homes at night, we’d secretly remove the fort limb by limb to another forest entirely using our wagons attached to our bikes. It was quite the task to remove all traces of our meetings, often splitting up before getting a mile within our sacred abode, separating into different directions of approach before convening within 15 minutes or so at our secret den.
We’d use leaves to cover our CCM tire tracks before getting to the order of our serious plans and meetings. Much later, into our pre-teens, our forts became a way to explore each others very interesting bodies and cultivate the first streamings of romantic lust and love. Spin the bottle and double dare games had us racing home before the street lights came on with pink stained cheeks and dreams of forbidden love. At this juncture, it became to my greatest advantage to be the only girl in our gang, even though I had still had the best lateral pass and was captain of our softball team.
I loved the feeling of freedom in those forts, our domain, our privileged space in the world. Our anarchy stated in a shared dominion of pieced together culled wood. We owed no explanation for our plots and no one had any right to question where we set up our utopian estate. We did as we pleased, the world our little plywood oyster, no questions asked.
In our early teens, we even stealthily built a new fort, far more sophisticated to an island in the middle of the Ottawa River called Upper Duck Island between the province of Ontario and Quebec that you could only get to by canoe. It was one heck of an undertaking to get the supplies across a body of water without tipping our vessels. And no, we never used life jackets back then. Life jackets were cumbersome and also for sissies. We were in utter command of ourselves and our project to build our romantic abode at any cost.
Much later, having grown up and assuming adult responsibilities, a loss of my health and also parenting to the expectations of the society that I still secretly most abhorred, I felt broken and fake. I hated how I systematically dropped each of my ethical values into the fibreglass pink world of ugly aluminum siding and cookie cutter off-gassing pre-fab homes. I worked endlessly just to pay the mortgage and bills. My life a tax proliferating diseased matrix.
There was nothing culturally endearing in the suburbs where faceless women jammed the side walks with their baby strollers, where the constant drone of lawn mowers required to cut grass that never served any functional purpose, sucked up precious weekend time to keep shorn. My husband and I working long hours, while our kids spent their days at the caregivers, to pay for their childcare and the home we stupidly abandoned every day. Each yard surrounded by 8 foot fences for privacy with barking dogs trapped in the same micro yards that I was. Dinner with friends and a bottle of wine, once a week, was my only escape in a much too false construct became the high pitched scream of my broken meaningless life.
I’d lost my intrinsic connection to nature. Gone was the life of ducking branches as they whipped by my head, careening through forest on my blood red bike in the fort we once had by the “red bridge” in Rothwell Heights. If I tried to even bike up that Delong Rd. hill today, I’d probably lose a lung onto the asphalt. I yearn for the feeling of the natural tiny house in the trees, although, I’ve so very beautifully narrowed my romantic love down to one very resonant boy now that I’m 50 who will play spin the bottle with me any time i like! I ache for my fort in the the forest with him. I will actualize my dreams to be intimately licked again by the seasons.
My new tom-boy friend (although she doesn’t know it), and Tiny House owner, Dee Williams describes the “thousand different ways it rains” just above her sky-lit head in her book, “The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir.” As per Dee, if you clap your hands hard and fast, that is November’s rain! You can also watch her phenomenal YouTube videohere where you’ll hear her explain how the limitations of her heart condition caused her to reduce her living to a grid-free tiny house where she lives in community in her friend’s back yard sharing a garden as well as water access. She is the master of her fort, her resonant kinship for herself within her space while also immersed in nature. I was deeply moved after I watched her Youtube video above.
I also realized that I want a little little house based on the same principles as Temple Grandin’s squeeze machine. I want to live in a space that energetically hugs me. I abhor the 4 and 5 bedroom McMansions of my yesterday that literally sucked the special sauce from my life. Years ago, I was studying all of Temple Grandin’s books and her view of her world of autism to gain more insights into the human psyche for my own research as a Physician of Heilkunst Medicine. She is a very autonomous and brilliant thinker.
I treat many patients in the spectrum, often successfully relieving them of their predisposition to stimming, gut issues and OCD behaviours by detoxing them from their life’s emotional and physical traumas including the vaccines and more importantly the Genetic Miasms. It was only meeting with a colleague who owns a squeeze machine, like Temple Grandin’s, that I wholly understood on every level the advantages of being in a small space and how comforting that is. Temple talks about the function and purpose of her squeeze machine, revealed in her movie here.
After a series of erroneous mishaps into disease myself and my son’s own perilous voyage into the autistic spectrum, and then out again which I tell in great morbific glory here in my first book, I came to know myself intimately as a child of the natural world. I realized that I want to go back to reclaim the parts of my childhood that most speak to me. Camping in the tent with my family, spending time in the forts with just enough resources to be comfortable, with no hassles while keeping societal expectations at bay.
A couple of years ago I asked myself; where am I happiest? Camping alone in my tent with loads of time to ruminate, read, write, draw, eat good food both indoors and out with the basic necessities was the resounding answer. I’ve made the luscious resolve to have less space and more intimacy with myself and my husband with fewer inane responsibilities like mowing the friggin’ lawn. I will cultivate a permaculture acre in the woods while also living in a smallish home built from natural materials, windows to sit in while studying and writing by our wood-stove, a beautiful tiny kitchen with all the amenities, a pond, raised gardens, fruit trees and a wee separate fort for my artistic pursuits and above all, no stupid grass, adults or barking dogs. Also I’m the only prissy girl allowed, pinky swear!