The Silo Tuesday June 6, 2006, 0 comments

I grew up in what my grandfather called a faceless house in an utterly nondescript subdivision. The whole town was nothing more than a bedroom community for big-city workers, equally and oppressively faceless.

The house was at the edge of that town, close to the farm fields to the south and west. Out my window, I could clearly see the Niagara Escarpment, which town parents were constantly telling us was the same cliff that Niagara Falls tumbles over. We all oohed in the right places and secretly hated that dull rock face for being the only thing of interest in this mundane town.

At one time it had been a vibrant farming community, but cheap imports from Mexico and the southern States eventually took their toll. Once grand farms were abandoned and left to rot. Twenty years later they’d become even grander subdivisions, remarkable for their utter lack of character, but for now thousands of acres and dozens of abandoned homesteads dotted the countryside.

A mile south of our house was the closest abandoned farm. Unlike most, this one was still in possession of a silo, tucked up close to a small barn and almost hidden amongst overgrown trees. The round dome-like roof of the silo could be seen peaking out overtop. It had suffered damage from one of the many wind-storms that frequented the area. Maybe a third of the dome had been torn off and tossed down to the ground below.

When things would get bad at home, I’d escape there with sketchbook in hand, to draw or just lay back on the uneven plank floor and watch the sky wheel over my head. I found the silo compelling and mystical. I felt drawn to it, as if I were part of some grander plan when I was there. When I couldn’t sleep I’d sneak out at night to climb its rusty ladder and number the stars. I’d try to smoke cigarettes and read books, oblivious as any nine-year old to the dangers of both fire and cancer. I found Shakespeare up there, when King Lear and I were first introduced.

It was my secret place. Long before anyone else had heard of it, long before anyone had thought to make an uninspiring movie about it, I had read of Burnett’s secret garden. In the silo I had found not a walled green space but an ivory tower to call my own.

I was careful to keep it clean. I had managed to drag a derelict and splintery lawn chair up to the top, along with several boxes to use as end tables. In a rough and strange way, the silo was more home to me than the house of my parents. My room at home was a typical child’s disaster, but the silo was my sanctuary.


Comments

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice.”
- Steve Jobs

Twitter

  • There’s an important difference between an inexperienced developer and a bad developer. Tuesday December 3, 2019
  • This is utterly unacceptable, GO Transit. Should we expect an apology for the inconvenience, coupled with a statem… t.co/lSux4a9mbM Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Note that it wasn’t even possible to discuss this with someone at Union. Instead we were just given a card with the… t.co/b6BtE7uUUW Thursday November 21, 2019
  • And why did she feel justified in chastising them? She ever ejected a guy off the train who stepped through the doo… t.co/rdWrnDA3AA Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Why didn’t anyone announce the carriage was closed while the train was pulling in? Or even once the doors had opene… t.co/AWJz8RM0aD Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Then she yelled at them over the loudspeaker to tell them how rude it was to have tried to hold the doors open and… t.co/SYDQ0NCUpF Thursday November 21, 2019
  • She just shut the doors on them with barely 3 seconds warning (including one woman who got her bag knocked into the… t.co/9kydaITveC Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @GOtransit, want to explain to all the people who didn’t get on the Lakeshore East 4:10 today train why it was… t.co/4w4lbSMQCa Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @devinwenig. It was great to be a part of the @eBay family under you. Though I left that family more than a yea… t.co/qChpcb22Dr Wednesday September 25, 2019