Sumac Hideaway:

To the west of home, in the empty lot behind Cousin-D’s home and the rental property between it and R1’s home was a seasonal brook, which ran through a small copse of sumac. When R2 and I first discovered it, we were amazed by the rush of water running through a channel which later proved to be waist deep for us. “If it weren’t for the water, this would be a good fort.” I told him. He thought about it and replied “Yeah, but this is a lot of water.” We had all but forgotten the discovery when we stumbled back into it the following summer. In stark contrast to what we had seen during the spring rains, the brook was now a dry channel overshadowed by an umbrella of sumac. Quietly, we climbed in and sat down on the sandy floor. R2 and I almost giggled at the realization that no one at all could see where we were. We talked it over, and decided that this dry bed would be our secret hideaway. I brought containers from home, and R2 made away with some of his father’s military ration packs. It was the most peacefully we ever played together, and over the following months, no one would discover our little spot. But then in due time, the rains came and the brook once again filled with water, washing away any evidence that we had claimed it as our own.