I’ve just been writing a flashback scene in my book which has to do with a tree house. My hero and heroine – adversaries from childhood – have been, in a rare moment of collaboration, building a tree house.
And I’ve been thinking back to my own childhood – of dreams of tree houses, lavish and rustic at the same time and real tree houses (not an easy fit in a eucalyptus tree, let me tell you!). And my fingers have been itching to get out the pencils and paper and draw them all over again.
They were my original dream houses. I wanted them high, where I would have a room with a view, and sturdy, though with just enough sway to let me know I wasn’t on the ground anymore. I wanted them wind-proof and water-proof and with lots of bookshelves (a girl can’t look out the window all the time!). Besides, this was my dream.
A couple of my sons built a tree house in the woods not far from our home. It was drafty and teetery and I had visions of them plunging out of it when the least breeze came up. But I managed to shut my mouth and not voice my concerns. It was ‘their’ dream house – and boys have to have dreams, too.
I remember going to Disneyland when I was young and, as I recall, there was a sort of Swiss Family Robinson tree house there. Or may be I dreamed it. But it was everything I thought I would want in my dream tree house.
When I was looking for images to illustrate this piece, I found this one from the Disneyland at Hong Kong (or so it says). I didn’t even know there was a Disneyland at Hong Kong (I thought there was one in Japan). It speaks to me, too. And I wouldn’t mind having it right on the edge of a river or lake like this one, either!
These images all resonate with me. Some are way more lavish than any kid could make. They are certainly more lavish than my hero and heroine are making. They’re more lavish than I dared dream of as a child.
But they do two things – they prove to me that my dreams are shared by a lot of people, and that sometimes dreams can coincide with reality, even if in the instance of tree houses, mine didn’t.
They inspire me. They make remember childhood dreams and they make me dream still.
They also, honestly, make me want to go round up a few grandkids and watch Swiss Family Robinson again.
Did you ever dream about making a fantastic tree house? Did you make one? Just how universal is my tree house dream house fantasy, anyway?
Attributions: Tree house 1: By http://flickr.com/photos/emdot/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/emdot/9672473/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tree house 2: By Grandy02 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tree house 3: Stanley Howe [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Tree house 4: By Dave Q from flickr.com - http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodspeed/ CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons