4. The Room of Requirement: The First Incarnation


Salmon spawn

Courtesy of J. K. Rowling, is that place where you hide your fears and fashion your dreams.  It’s that place that’s exactly what you need at exactly that moment.

The house we bought in Sebastopol, it turns out, is endlessly extensible.  It even came with it’s own Room of Requirement.  In it’s first incarnation, the room was the sea.

The First Incarnation:  the story of the sea

After the flood, clam and oyster and shellfish took up calcium and salts from the ocean and from these stores the engines of their DNA fashioned shell and carapace.  Plankton and algae harvested sunlight and carbon dioxide, and in one of life’s most supreme acts created green breathing matter.  The matter was consumed by other fish, krill and invertebrates who in turn were consumed by a diminutive carnivore from the family Salmonidae.  These mighty fish hatched nearly on land, kept safe by the barest sheen of water.  They grew and molted and shimmered down the tributaries to the open sea.  Those that survived ranged the cold Pacific waters as far north as Alaska.  Much of their lives to this day remain a mystery.  What little we do know, however, concerns the laying of their spawn, and their tortured journeys back up stream in which they shed themselves of everything save the desire to reproduce.  Forsaking even their own appetite, they cast themselves repeatedly against the current, battling against the gravitational and tidal pull of the rest of nature solely so that they may live.  Once they reach gravel shoals, they lay and fertilize their own spawn.  Spent, they survive only a short while longer.  Their job is done.  And in their consequent death they return once again to join us on land.

The salmon are required to do this.  Life, their life, all life in the Pacific Northwest has pulsed for ten millennia with their return journey.  It is why, in it’s second incarnation, the Room came to be a forest.

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2 thoughts on “4. The Room of Requirement: The First Incarnation

  1. Response 1:
    Um, look Mister, I was just asking if me and my brudda could play some ping-pong?

    Response 2:
    Do you mean to say that the room itself was the ocean, or a portal to the ocean, like Narnia or the Wild Things, or that everything around there, even your house, was once under water? Do you mean to say that you were able to buy your house because it was under water, because someone, like a salmon with a tail, flipped it? Are you just starting the story of the ping-pong room out back way back in time?

    Response 3:
    I like the part about harvesting sunlight and creating green breathing matter…….
    Do more of that.

    • Reply 1 to Response 1: Of course you and your brudda can play some ping pong.

      Reply 2 to Response 1: But it will have to be outside as the dinghy is inside.

      Reply 1 to Response 2: I mean to say the room is the ocean.
      Reply 2 to Response 2: I mean to say the room will be the portal to the ocean.
      Reply 3 to Response 2: I mean to say that all this edge of California was once underwater but then was not but now is again.
      Reply 4 to Response 2: I am telling the story of a boat, but only as Rambling Jack Elliott could tell it.
      Reply 5 to Response 2: I am setting sail and running away to sea knowing not when or how or by which storms I will be delivered to my distant atoll.

      Reply 1 to Response 3: Thank you!

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