Some places are sacred, portals to the past: a secret cove, a branch in an oak tree, a private beach or a forest clearing. I’ve had many sacred spaces throughout my life, but one in particular that comes to mind is Maggie and I’s windowsill.
I met Maggie in seventh grade, when true friends can be hard to come by. She had long titian hair and an innocence in her expression that made her stand out, having not yet adopted the mask of cynicism we often use to shield ourselves. She still had a hold on the magic of childhood, a sense of self that couldn’t be shaken or moulded.
The windowsill was at our school, along the side of the boys locker room which was also used as a common area. It was our private look-out, a place to observe rather than be observed and to apply our own fantastical filter. A place where the magic we found in books blended with reality, where characters and plots would take shape. A place to share our secret hopes and deepest insecurities, for real connection amongst a sea of
It was one space of many, but memorable because it existed within another that sometimes felt unsafe. The windowsill was a sanctuary to be who we were rather than who we thought we should be. But maybe the windowsill is the emblem and the space is our friendship. Because she is, to this day, a person I go to for refuge. Maybe each friendship has its own mythology, its own symbols. If someone has been in your life a long time, you’ve had the privilege of watching each other grow, the privilege of being influenced by similar experiences. A friend can make suffering bearable, maybe even connect that suffering to the larger story of who you are. And sometimes . . . they can even make the mundane