The Trees That Held Up Our Neighborhood
So, imagine if you will, set far off from the road, a light-mossy-green painted house with a wrap around porch, a swing on one end, and on the other two Great Oaks. In between these oaks was the best treehouse anyone could imagine painted the same mossy-green as the house. You had to climb high on a ladder and crawl through a hole and you had yourself a treehouse. There were no walls on the treehouse. There weren’t any windows and absolutely no roof but that didn’t matter to me. Camping out there and seeing the stars above my head was the best place to be.
But those two Great Oaks weren’t the best climbing trees, they had grown in that ground for so long there were no limbs to be reached. No, the best climbing tree was in the neighbor’s yard across the street. It grew to be climbed and climbed it we did. We felt like giants. But my mother said I couldn’t go in their yard unless they were home. She said it was not okay because that would be trespassing. In my mind, I understood the “tres” to be the front of the house. Why? I truly do not know. I imagine that’s just the way my mind worked at that age.
There was a lady in our neighborhood who sprayed her hose on every kid on the block who stepped in her yard, even if they fell off their bikes and just landed in her yard. But she didn’t spray me for some reason. I think it was because she and my Grandma were friends. Or maybe I told her while on her front lawn about the “tres”of her house and she took pity on me. Didn’t want to do more damage than was already done!
Back at our yard, behind the treehouse was the part of the yard that no one in my family used—except me. Yes, you are right, it was my secret garden, so to speak. The bricks that were laid long ago to separate neighbor from neighbor were overrun with ivy and on that ivy was my very favorite flower—honeysuckle. I loved that flower. I sat with my back against the ivy and smelled their scent and if a bee came by why I just stood still and it didn’t bother me. It was probably just as happy as I was to be hidden in those honeysuckles.
There was a man who lived in that great house before us that worked at the city Botanical Garden cutting bulbs for tulips and gluing them back together. Imagine that! But each time he did, he brought a glued bulb or two home in his pocket and then planted it in my special garden. If I was chasing after our dachshund, Gus or Gump, our St. Bernard was chasing after me, I always found deep red bottomed tulips with white tops or orange and yellow striped ones. It was like an Easter hunt, but the treats were laid for me a long, long time ago. I’d stop and look at them if Gus and I were playing and think they just grew for me. If Gump and I were playing, well I didn’t have time to stop! But I loved all of them tulips as if I was the only one to see them. And I guess I was!
I just saw a flash fiction request by the lovely Ellen Mulholland (@thisgirlclimbstrees) and thought I would join in. The WordPress site (http://www.thepointofthequill.com) is taking up so much time trying to fend off hackers with my knife and sword, it gets daunting.
tulips botanical garden