When I was a girl, I always dreamed of having a frilly, princessy canopy bed. The kind that would hide me away, where I could prop myself on pillows and read into the wee hours of the morning. Canopy beds where not cheap, though, and while Mom always helped me create my own lovely space, the enchanted princess bed-fort never came into being. Now, thirty and more years removed from that little girl I used to be, I finally did what I’d wanted back then–I got my canopy. I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, Tumblr and other sites how popular grownup pillow forts have become. These masterpieces run the gamut–gaming paradises with consoles or pc’s tucked away in mountains of cushions and replete with snacks, boho palaces alight with paper lanterns and hodge-podge fabrics, or good old-fashioned blanket forts spanning an entire room. These forts, in my opinion, are popular for the reason they were when we were kids–they are magical. They are hidden away. They are places where the ordinary becomes more than what it is. And after turning my favorite frumpy easychair into a one-woman fairy-land, I see more than ever what the fuss was all about. Thanks to a little canopy from a big box store, a some ribbons and lights I already had stored away in my magpie fashion, I was able to realize my childhood dream, and Fort Daydream, est. 2016, came into being. And guess what–it is SO magical, ya’ll. Reading, tucked away in gauze and ribbons (budget-friendly, scavenged from my own magpie stores), I feel like I’ve had a mini-vacation. I cannot recommend it enough.
I am blessed to have the luxury of space but not all forts have to be physical–even a short break in every work day where you close your eyes and daydream or go outside and take a walk can be a (mental) room of one’s own. If you are blessed with space and mobility, your fort can be anyplace you carve out for yourself–a chair, a room, a place on a familiar neighborhood walk where you know every branch of a favorite tree, or even a book in which you write or draw and that nobody else ever sees . When you create a little corner of reality that is purely your own, you cannot help but feel important when you are there–like a general, a queen, an adventurer, a princess, or even just like someone who deserves to have a break in the chaos that is the real world. So, what are you going to name your pillow/blanket/gaming/tree/yard/notebook/mental-getaway/secret/magical fort? :D