It’s been several months since my last post about Jack London’s Wolf House in Glen Ellen, Ca. I returned there today and was again inspired by the beauty and history of the place. This time I visited with a good friend and her family, including her two young sons. Seeing the place through the boys’ eyes was like visiting it again for the first time.
They noticed things like suspiciously placed hinges on a bookshelf, mysterious passageways in the burned-out hull of Wolf House, a trap door leading (supposedly) to the basement of London’s cottage, and the surprisingly large collection of African spears displayed in the museum. They chased lizards down the rocky paths, were spooked by the century-old grave site, and explored every nook and cranny they found (even convincing me to follow them into a former pig pen on the ranch). London would have been proud.
These boys were captivated by the details and questioned everything; they led us down paths we may have otherwise ignored and opened our eyes to formerly overlooked nuances. They provided me with some much-needed perspective and served as a reminder of how important it is to retain an adventurous and inquisitive spirit.
I have always loved to buy books on the spot where they were written, so I secretly bought the boys their first copy of White Fang and Call of the Wild. Watching Nico immediately open it and start paging through warmed my heart. He carried it with him down the path to Wolf House, and while I know it will most likely lose attention to one of any kid’s many electronic distractions, I hope one day he’ll come across it, read my inscription and discover the words of the writer whose land we explored on this idyllic summer afternoon.
“Buck possessed a quality that made for greatness – imagination”
– The Call of the Wild