Friday, August 11, 2006

Leaping Green Spirits

I can't believe the fir trees! - their stately roots and grand aspirations. It's like an open-air church, a green cathedral, a six-acre amphitheatre for God. The place inspires in me a thankful kind of prayer, and for someone who usually prays for things like comfort and salty snacks and new Claire Danes movies, that's saying a lot.

My brother Trevor, a real estate agent, took me on a magical mystery tour of some local properties for sale this afternoon, and the final property we looked at was God-given.

We had seen mansions mounted on steep hillsides overlooking the Puget Sound, prairie manors framed by backgrounds of deciduous trees, and ancient ruins of rural meth labs squatting in puddles of mud. None of it really worked. I don't want a perfectly-trimmed yard with twiggy saplings planted on the perimeter, and I don't want a tick-infested marsh with chunks of cement thrown in as stepping stones to the doorframe without a door. Something between desolate and decadent would be nice.

And then, miraculously, we found it.

I can't even get my arms around some of the trees on this place, and that is just one of the perks. There's a treehouse in the willows overlooking the creek and a roomy single-wide trailer on the hill and a tire swing dangling from the largest apple tree I've ever seen. And the current owners are nice! They don't collect satellite dishes in the front yard, and they have matching old-people bikes leaning on the front-yard fence and his-and-her galoshes lined up on the front porch.

"This is it," I say to Trevor, "Imagine it. Owls cooing at night, hens clucking in the coop in the morning, the stream gurgling all hours of the day. This is it! But how am I going to afford it? I can't afford $160,000."

"Don't worry about making your payments," he answers. "If it comes down to it, you can harvest this baby for sixty grand, easy."

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