Safe Haven

But up here, you will find none of that. This is my realm. My safe haven from the world. I go here in troubled times. Alas, I’ve yet to find a way of bringing others here… Perhaps this is the way. Writing. So come along! I invite you, dear reader, to accompany me on a journey through my imagination. For the most part, I do this for my own mental health, which has not been in top form of late. Perhaps if my id sees more than just a lone boy traversing this subconscious domain, he will relent.

To begin, I propose we visit the safest part of my realm. This place is free from the troubles of the world. There is no entrance, no exit. One can simply be here, or leave, at will. It is sunny, and on the warmer side of comfortable, without being too hot. There are a few cirrus clouds in the sky. The air is of wonderful quality, with a hint of some scent that you find enjoyable. Perhaps it’s lavender, or perhaps Earl Grey tea. In fact, it may even be diesel exhaust, or chlorine trifluoride if you enjoy that sort of smell. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this is a more literal example.

We see a trellis, entangled by ivy, providing shade over a small pond. In this pond are lily pads, and some sort of fish. Being purely imaginary, some details are inconsistent from one visit to the next. The fish, for instance. There is not a fixed number of them, and they are not a definite species. Next to this pond is a wooden bench, which could comfortably seat two people. On either side of this bench are small tables, so that whosoever sits at this bench may have a beverage by their side without having to hold it in perpetuity. Around the pond, the ground is covered in lush green grass, which, while clearly kept trimmed, is not perfectly mowed and as such is uneven in places. There are also flowers among this grass. Very colourful flowers, at that.

A few metres out on all sides from the pond, the grass ends. In fact, the land ends, too. It drops away endlessly. This is an island floating in the sky, yet also exempt from the troubles inherent in high altitude – wind, low oxygen – that sort of thing. There is no railing or fence, but that is not cause for alarm. One cannot fall from these islands. This plane of surreality is mine and bends to my will, and my will is that none may come to any harm in this place.

On two sides of the island – could be any two sides – there are bridges. Small bridges, built from stone and wood, which connect to two other islands. The first of these islands is slightly larger. As before, the grass is lush and dotted with flowers. This one has a tower on it. A small tower, made of stone, with medieval-style ramparts and arrow slits. Inside are two hammocks, some storage chests, and a ladder which leads to the roof of the tower.

This tower is cozy. Inside, one feels like a toddler who has built themselves a grand fortress by draping sheets over furniture and forbidding their sibling from entry. That is to say, whosoever enters this tower has the utmost confidence in its fortification, with not even the tiniest shred of doubt that it is indeed safe.

Outside the tower, there is a small cluster of aspen trees. Chances are, this is really just one tree. Did you know that? Aspen trees have the interesting property of being connected by the roots, sometimes. This means that what may appear to be multiple trees are actually one organism. These trees are on a small mound, which has a tiny opening wreathed in pebbles. From this opening comes a trickle of water, flowing fairly fast, following a bed of pebbles to the edge of the island, where it falls infinitely. As luck would have it, the water is sourced infinitely as well.

The other island is tiny. Miniscule, in fact. However, there is a far larger island above it, and a thick, sturdy set of vines or perhaps roots are left dangling just above this tiny island, as a ladder. Again, I should reiterate that this is, despite your intuition, absolutely safe in every way. Up this vine-ladder, one finds a small area of grass – (this island does have fencing around the edge, by the way) – parted by a path of flagstones, polished immaculately, leading to a house.

The house is made entirely of wood, except for glass windows and iron hinges on the door. There is a roof of sorts, although it doesn’t need to be solid, as it never rains here. Inside, it is only one large room. In this room is a large round table which could seat seven people comfortably for dinner. One corner of the room acts as a kitchen. The food is infinitely replenished, and the washing-up is done automatically. There is also a library. A few shelves contain books bound in leather, with gold text. This is not a distinct collection of books, but rather, if a book is needed, it will be available on that shelf. Beside these shelves are a couple of luxurious armchairs either side of a coffee table. The final corner of the room has a bed. It’s rather a fancy bed, made of ornately carved wood, with a canopy and curtains.

Outside the house, surrounding this island, you may notice many small islands around, not six feet diameter, any of them. Each of these islands has some ornate and mystical pedestal with a glowing crystal hovering just above, gently bobbing in the air. These will move around at night, to light any areas that need to be lit. Or, if no light is needed, the glow will dim.

Now, I’ve just realised that I have completely forgotten the most important part of this place: An unlimited supply of tea. Be it Tetley, Twinings, PG Tips, Bigelow, or, God forbid, Lipton, any sort of tea you could wish for is available on demand. Coffee, too, but that is naturally a lower priority. But of course, tea alone cannot always satisfy. As such, there is also no limit on the supply of scones, muffins, croissants, eggs, sausage, bacon, or anything else that goes well with tea. For the sake of being inclusive, I’ll also say that anything which goes well with coffee is available too, but I can’t cite particular examples as I don’t tend to drink coffee.

At this point, I’ve been writing long enough, and I started late enough, that I’m quite tired and can’t carry on. I do have more to say, but I can never resume a piece that I leave half-finished, so I will end this now and I may continue in my next post, which should be tomorrow. However, I cannot promise an immediate continuation, as I have no idea what I’ll be in the mood to write about tomorrow.

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