Every true gardener never wants to leave their garden creations or Mother Nature at the end of the day. As children we gave ourselves permission to hang out in the trees and be with nature. I think that is why I love tree houses. As a child I spent hours in mine swaying with the wind of the branches gazing out on my garden.
It was a place I was safe or insulated from the "real" world. Up in the branches of that great oak tree I was safe to fly with the birds and let my dreams wonder on the wind like the leaves. However, there was something safe and grounding as well. Here was this massive tree with giant branches to climb in every direction and yet I knew it was equally grounded with the same giant roots reaching into mother earth. It was almost like experiencing life between the worlds of the sky where anything was possible and childhood dreams soared in the wind. At the same time I knew instinctively as a child I was anchored to the earth by strong roots and it was in that very soil I learned to grow nourishing vegetables that gave life to my growing body.
I remember spending hours in my tree house gazing out on my garden. It gave me a new perspective on things from my aerial view. Heck, I spent almost as much time up there as I did in my greenhouse. My greenhouse nourished and protected my growing spirit as well, but that is another story. My childhood tree house was built by my father and was a gathering spot for all the neighborhood kids. Dreams were set to flight there, worlds were conquered and I think even my first kiss!
I'll never forget the time when my Mom decided to save some money and give me a haircut instead of going to the barber. I think I was about 6. She put a bowl on my head and cut the part that was sticking out! I looked like a monk. I promptly put on a hat and sulked off to the safest place I knew. My tree house! I was humiliated and that lofty place in the trees was my only comfort. I remember I couldn't be talked down for a long time. Needless to say Mom never did that again!
I guess the point I'm trying to make as adults we forget to allow ourselves to experience the magic of the world and a tree house is a wonderful way to do that. After all why are there so many books and websites of tree houses? Children didn't produce them. Adults did. I challenge you this winter to pick up one of those books and start planning your very own tree house. You could build it in your garden or maybe you are lucky enough to have a wood lot to tuck yours into. Either way give yourself permission at least to pick up the book, a pillow, a cup of hot tea and dream! What can it hurt? And maybe, just maybe this summer you will find yourself gazing down on your garden from your very own tree house.