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Our "Secret Escapes"
by [?]

I suppose that we all of us have our own little secret “dream-sanctuary”–our way-of-escape which nobody knows anything about, and by which we go when we are weary of the trivialities of the domestic hearth and sick unto death of the “cackle-cackle” of the crowds. When we are very young we long to share this secret little dream-sanctuary with someone else. When we are older and wiser, we realise that if we don’t keep it to ourselves we are spiritually lost; for, with the best intentions in the world, the best-beloved, to whom in rapture we give the key, either, metaphorically speaking, leaves the front gate open or goes therein and turns on a gramophone. We come into this world alone, and we leave it by ourselves; and the older we grow the more we realise that, in spite of our own heart’s longing to share, we are most really at peace when we are quite alone in our own company. When we are young we hope and expect our “dreams” to become one day a glorious reality. When we are older we realise that our “dreams” will always remain “dreams”, and, strange as it may sound, they become more real to us, even as “dreams,” than do any realities–except bores and toothache. For the “dreams” of youth become the “let’s pretend” of age. And the person who has forgotten the game of “let’s pretend” is in soul-colour of the dulness of ditch-water. And “let’s pretend” is a game which we can best play by ourselves. Even the proximity of a living being, content to do and say nothing, robs it of its keenest enjoyment. No, we must be by ourselves for the world around us to seem really inhabited by people we love the most amid surroundings nearest our ideal. There are no bores in our dream-world. Nothing disagreeable happens there. And, thank Heaven, we can enter it almost anywhere–sometimes if we merely close our eyes! And we can be our real selves in this dream-world of ours too, there is nobody to say us nay; there are no laws and no false morals; we are fairy kings and queens in a fairy kingdom. I always pity the man or woman who is no monarch in this very real kingdom of shadows which lies all around us, and which we can enter to reign therein whenever the human “jar” is safely out of the way. There we can be our true selves and live our true life, in what seems a very real world–a world, moreover, which we hope one day will be the reality of Heaven.