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nature writing part 4 (treehouse)

nature writing part 4 (treehouse)

Posted February 4th, 2018 by Swallowtail

by swallowtail
in new york/massachusetts

I first went here on a Thursday afternoon in early spring last year. It was the first day just warm enough to wear a sundress, so I did, even though it was still just cold enough to make this not the best idea. I knew the treehouse existed, I had just always been told by seniors that it was old and unsafe. They probably wanted to keep it a quiet location, but fortunately for me, this didn’t work very well. I climb up there now for the first time since the spring and look around. Sun shines right into my eyes, so I sit with my back to it and face the trees. They grow tall and slender, appearing silver in the light and the cold. Branches whisper softly in the light breeze, reaching up to the sun. The sky above them is a whimsical deep blue, so unlike the way I think of a winter sky. Winter skies bring to mind close, bleached blues and days when the earth and sky appear to merge in a mad whirl of white and gray. However, today the sky seems bent on proving me wrong, appearing as a lofty swath of brilliant color firmly out of reach. I can’t imagine that it’s really winter here, even as the cold bites at my hands and ears and snow dusts the worn wooden boards beneath my feet. Reality is suspended, if I close my eyes it’s a hazy June morning. Even as I open them and look out at the expanse of bare trees and fine snow, June lingers behind everything, the promise of a few months time. Crows caw loudly from somewhere unnamed, and chickadees sing lightly from beyond the trees. I keep turning my face back up the sky, watching as branches sway gently and listening as an airplane roars from someplace out of my sight. Here, it feels the same as last spring. I think of a thousand things I remember from here: strong coffee, chili chocolate, 1984, hammocks, using backpacks as pillows, alt-j, the decemberists, and end-of-the-year blues. Nothing has changed, yet a thousand things have, including the fact that I’m cold and quickly getting colder. So I scoop up my backpack and climb down again carefully, leaving the treehouse for the spring.


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