We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it. ~George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, 1860
When I was young, I lived on a mountain. There was a rolling carpet of green grass at the front of the house and a neverending collage of trees in our backyard to get lost in, which I did, on occasion.
On one side of the house there was what I referred to as The Enchanted Forest. This is where I would spend time making delicious-looking mud pies. Sometimes I had company, but mostly it was just me. There was something so magical about this forest, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it was. Chalk it up to the untainted imagination of a child, the memory of it made all the more powerful by nostalgia. The positioning of the trees created the sense that every tree was there, growing in that exact spot for a reason, and that I was a part of its purpose.
On the other side of the yard was a large shed where my dad did his carpentry work. The fruit of his labour for me was this amazing pile of sawdust to play with. And I made good use of it. My greatest creation was The Yellow Brick Road. Yup, I spread that sawdust ALL around the yard in order to create this masterpiece. See, I had a fondness for paths, trails, sidewalks, anything that led somewhere, because I believed that it could literally take you anywhere.
In this case, The Yellow Brick Road of Sawdust led to a magical portal otherwise known as a willow tree. There was this gap in the branches, like some unearthly being had parted the curtains and was beckoning me in and I knew, once wrapped inside the bendy branches of this willow tree, something extraordinary would happen. I would step inside, raise my arm high above my head, (holding an invisible sword, of course), and be transformed. I was no longer a meek little girl, I was a sword-wielding superhero.
And that my friends, is what I need now that I’m supposedly all grown up. Transformation. A portal to greatness. Even if only in my head.
- Dreaming of Willow Trees: Through a Child’s Eyes (CV) (allthesnoozethatsfittoprint.wordpress.com)