Pine Haven It’s not easy to believe in something you haven’t seen. Without ever experiencing the workings of a television, one would be hard pressed to believe that it was possible to watch a live event in our living rooms that was occurring on the other side of the earth. Sure, it takes faith, but in today’s world, where science has practically demystified the creation of life itself, the belief in miracles, nirvana, or a place called heaven, seem too good to be true. Like a wonderful fairy tale, right out of the Arabian Nights Stories, where with a fervent wish in your heart, a jinni in a bottle is willing to transport one on a magic carpet to a Shangri-La, a place where no more harm can befall us, where we can drop our guards, worship nature, and be free to simply be. Yes, it would take a lot of faith, but seeing something once, getting even a small glimpse of what heaven could be, can start a person believing in a way that blind faith never would. My hard working parents gave our family such an experience of heaven when we were kids growing up in the early sixties. However, getting there took more than a wish and a magic carpet ride: it took my father driving a cab at night after his blue collar day job to get his family their little glimpse of nirvana, a place where we could stop human doing, and start human being. And if seeing is believing, then heaven is a Pine Haven: a Shangri-La with a blue screen door on eastern long island.
The story that follows was our road map to heaven.
The country’s on our mind.
The air is heavy and life’s a grind.
But escape is imminent;
And word is, we’ll soon be free.
And we’re trading concrete,
For sandy earth and shade of tree.
We’re packing our shorts and bathing suits;
Throwing in our favorite game.
And when we ride away in the Red Monterey,
Things won’t stay the same.
People ask, ‘Where are you going?’
‘What is it here you find you lack?’
Our answer is simple,
“It’s a cabin in heaven,
On the side of a railroad track.”
And in the heat,
It’s our retreat,
Our Shangri-La with a blue screen door.
We gave it name, ‘Pine Haven’,
And it’s ‘Pine Haven’ evermore.
Last minute packing is always the rule,
With a checklist requiring thought.
But once we close our valises,
All reasoning ceases,
And what we don’t bring can always be bought.
The sun is shining,
The sky—pure blue.
Work is over,
And it’s now time to play.
Why is this feeling so special?
The week is over,
And we’re getting away.
When we climb in the car,
We have special seats,
We sit in the same one’s we’ve sat in before.
And now we wait…and wait…and wait,
For the sound of the driver’s door.
The engine starts,
And we’re on our way,
The journey’s well in hand.
The mind drifts off,
To pine trees and drive-ins,
And castles you make out of sand.
We pull down the windows,
But the air is quite thick;
We’re still in the city,
And we have a distance to go.
Oh! But how we all ache,
For the ocean and lake,
And a packed lunch of chicken and dough.
As the blasts of air,
Flow through our hair,
The Fifth Dimension sing,
Up, Up and Away,
Other things may be sweet,
But there’s no better treat,
For us, it’s a perfect day.
As we drive outside the city lines,
There’s a pungent change in the air.
Though once hot and hazy,
The air’s now fresh as a daisy,
It smells pine sweet, cool and clear.
And the top ten tunes on the radio,
Wrest our cares,
While our troubles depart.
And the heaviest of feelings,
We carry inside,
Mystifyingly drop from the heart.
And though our stomachs may rubble,
It’s no time to grumble,
For breakfast is just down the road.
And once settled inside,
Our mouths open wide,
For pancakes they serve by the load.
Then off we go sated and satisfied,
(Praying the water pump doesn’t cause us to stall),
To our ‘Land of Oz’ without junk mail,
Just the Blue Jay’s occasional call.
We’re almost there,
The morning sun’s shining,
Says the radio, ‘Like a Red Rubber Ball.’
Then we turn down the circular driveway,
Around it Spruce trees have gotten so tall.
We search for the evergreens we’ve planted,
And while we shout, “Look there, that one is mine!”
Car tires crush through blue stones of gravel,
Those pines smelling sweeter than wine.
And when our sneakers touched down,
It wasn’t craters we’d found,
Just our fortress where pine cones abound.
Then we’d carry our bags to the sun room,
And open the oak door with the ring in its nose.
And we really knew we were there,
(The first whiff of old musty air),
When the blue screen door would shut,
But not close.
And the old yellow lamp outside the cabin door,
Attracted mosquitoes and fireflies to its light.
While our faces wore frames,
From the crackling flames,
We’d sing fireside all through the night.
And parting was always the hardest,
It came calling,
Just as we’d finally set in.
And that old rusty man,
Whose face opened a bottle or can,
Hung on a tree with a knowing grin.
We’d pack our bags;
Put our things away,
And run a wet mop across the floor.
We took one last look at the place,
Refreshed but sad in the face,
Wishing for Saturday just once more.
Our bags fit into the trunk like a puzzle.
All that’s left is to lock up and hide the keys,
But something is calling, it beckons, “Don’t go,”
When we turn,
It’s the wind through the trees.
Then we walk back up to the cabin and linger…
We pull the oak door by the ring in its nose.
And we really knew we were leaving,
We’d be back, no sense in grieving,
When that blue screen door would shut,
But not close.
John Giacchetti, CPA 7.19.13 11 Riverside Drive suite 16KW New York, NY 10023