When I was about five years old, my dad built me a tree house in a small live oak tree just south of our house on the farm. It consisted of a well-reinforced platform about seven feet off the ground, with 2x4s nailed to the tree trunk to provide a ladder for access. A railing on one side provided a backrest.
As simple as it was, that structure became the center of my life. I spent untold hours in it, reading comic books (we subscribed to them for about $2.50 a year, and they came in the mail), playing solitary pretend games, quietly watching the birds that would come to the tree if a small boy was able to stay still long enough, and generally hanging out while enjoying the
breeze that seemed to be present even on the hottest low-country days. The platform was my place, in my tree – inviolate – respected by the adults as my private place. Continue reading →