“All children, except one, grow up.” -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
The day we moved into our little apartment, Nick noticed the large tree looming overhead and excitedly declared his next project: a treehouse. I didn’t think much of it, until we went to Lowe’s and bought enough wood to fill his truck bed. For the past few weeks, there has been a slew of people coming over to help build this treehouse. Everyone pitched their ideas of everything they thought appropriate for a treehouse — TV, Netflix, Nintendo 64, a hammock, BBQ, handwoven furniture, a chess board, hanging picture frames, bistro lights, a love sac — and went to work.
Over the course of a few weeks, what once was a bare tree has become a gathering place for people to work, chat, and watch movies. It always makes my heart happy to come home and see people in the tree playing games, swinging in the hammock or adding to the fort.
Above all accessories, my favorite part of this tree is its power to transform people. It’s like a one-way ticket to childhood. Everything is light, care-free and exciting. And the littlest details are monumental! I especially love watching the way people’s demeanors completely change once they set eyes on the tree and make their way to the top. On one occasion, this pixie-dust effect really caught Nick and me off-guard.
When we moved into our apartment, we were warned by several people of this particularly unhappy woman living across the way. I’d never seen her before, but by everyone’s descriptions, I considered myself lucky. However, one afternoon this woman came outside to let her pet pig, Borris, out to roam the gravel lot. (I know, he’s adorable.) When she saw all the commotion on our front lawn, we feared she would complain. As she examined the mess and looked up to see boards hanging in the tree, she smiled and excitedly proclaimed, “That tree has been begging for a treehouse for the last ten years.” The treehouse was the perfect icebreaker for a really nice, genuine conversation. Now, thanks to the tree, it’s a happy reunion when we see her and Borris out and about on the grass.
That moment left me wondering, who in the world have I married?
I think people might call him Peter Pan, the boy who encapsulates youth and joy. The boy who teaches others to fly on the whim of faith and fairy dust. This boy! He is the one to reawaken that child within us all! And how I love it! This treehouse is the perfect manifestation of J.M. Barrie’s (creator of Peter Pan) magic of Never Never Land.
Barrie: “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”