I sat sticking to the scorching black linoleum covering the oak stairs to my great-aunt’s back porch. The sweat poured down me like a thin steam following my spine to the small of my back. Despite the sweltering heat, and air so thick you could cut through it with a knife, my dad and uncle labored on to build me the most beautiful tree house I have ever seen. Even though it was nearing twilight the heavy July air still laid upon the three of us like a wool blanket. They had just let me help hammer the last nail in place before my mom called out to us that dinner was ready.
My tree house, my sanctuary, my refuge, was the only place that I ever felt invincible. It was built about four feet from the dark moist earth below, wrapped tightly around an incredibly large willow tree laden with heavily falling branches that incased my most precious spot. In the front of the tree the drape-like branches were pulled to the sides and tied like pigtails to the other branches revealing a hidden treasure. The light came through the tree in both thin and wide beams that highlighted the greatest aspects of the house. It bounced off the small steps leading to the wrap-around porch and poured delicately through the heart shaped windows on the door. The sun spilt gently through the slivers between the wood slat roof and through the large rectangular windows. Even if it was chilly outside but the sun was out, the tree house looked like the warmest, most comforting place to be.
Jack was steaming mad. He had just had yet another fight with his mom about wasting food and was heading to the old tree house in the woods. They were always fighting about wasting food. He saw where she was coming from. They were pretty tight on cash, but if she was so intent on not wasting food why didn't she eat it. He was sitting at the foot of the abandoned tree house, drawing a dragon in the ...
Not only was the outside attractive, but the inside, behind those small heart-shaped windows was a child’s dream home. The three rooms within the cedar walls were filled with toys and furniture only a little girl could appreciate. When first opening the doors, time shifts and all who enter are transformed into children again. The relatively large kitchen is filled to the brim with toy pans, plates, and plastic food, and in the center of it all, a small island with a replica stove and sinks. The second room was an inviting living room with rosy-cheek-pink painted walls. The tan tweed couch sat opposite a child-sized recliner and in between the two, a coffee table stained the color of espresso. The final room, overflowing with sunshine held a baby bassinet and changing table. The entire house had a light smoked cedar aroma that fell pleasantly on the nose and had the tendency to cause a satisfying drowsiness.
The fairy-tale scene would not be complete without equally delightful surroundings. The tree stood powerfully and bold in the direct center of the colorful backyard. It was encircled in a vibrant garden overflowing with summertime flowers in an array of colors. The flowers seemed to emphasize the greatness of the willow by surrounding it like protectors. On the outer side of the flower moat, was a vast plain of vivid green grass that seemed to always have dew no matter what the weather was like. Even on rainy or snowy days when the willow branches drooped low with the weight of the elements the beauty of the landscape never wavered.
This tree house will forever be in my thoughts as one of the most beautiful, fun-filled, precious spots that I have ever gotten the privilege to experience. I hope that it’s strength will hold for many generations so that my children and their children will be able to share the valuable memories of a place that was so cherished to me that I hold today and will hold for the rest of my life.