In my freshman year at Parsons, I was asked to share my most vivid memory with my class; I had chosen a fair my family and I attended when I was 4-years-old. My mind still does wonders when thinking about the smells, sounds, and sights I experienced that day. That moment in time felt life-changing.
Now, having another chance to look back, I’ve acknowledged the prior, and choose another:
I’m six. The Maine summer is melting through my living room windows; its warmth is just starting to grow. As I approach the window, I see a figure through the glowing mist. Dad! There was no hesitation, no shoes, from carpet to wood, through the door, to cement, stone, bark, all the way to the grass, leading me right to where I wanted to be.
My Father would sit out in our field for hours painting our red barn and the land it melted into. It was a place we all loved. After all, the barn was home to history and prestige; it housed our cars, 12 horses, 36 chickens, worn leather tack, grain, hay bales stacked into the rafters, birds, rats, squirrels, cats, and even a neighborhood friend (now and again). It gave us protection from storms, provided a stage for our youthful wild fun, safe spaces and the perfect amount of danger. I learned from others and, in turn, taught what I learned in that barn. It was also the first Christmas present my grandfather ever made me - a handmade scaled model- “a place to hold your dreams so they don’t get away from you”, he said. Our home was just as miraculous a place; everything was just so beautifully worn.
Those moments have been stored and the feelings associated with those buildings have always stayed with me. I had told my Father (that day) I wanted to make homes ...