There are certain things in life that come and go as fads, and yet stand out in one's memory as vivid and significant for years to come.
The secret base play was one of them. When I was about 5, there was a vacant space near my house. Grasses grew there, and logs and metals were stored (or rather abandoned) all over the place.
It was a perfect setting for the "secret base" play.
We brought a few cardboard boxes, and started building the secret base. We imagined that we were preparing to fight an invisible and unidentified enemy. It was fun to prepare the flags and hats of the defense team.
The context was not necessarily one of confrontation, however. There was something fundamentally cozy and intimate about hiding ourselves together in the cardboard box next to each other. The skin touch. The breath. The inexplicable comradeship of us brats.
It may be because these moments of physical and spiritual proximity are rare to come nowadays that I miss the times of secret base so much.
The secret base. Happy childhood times.