We are staying in treehouses on this trip. Our AirBnB lodging was on the second floor, and around the windows were huge old trees. I laid in bed watching birds and squirrels eat and frolic. They were at my eye level and we all looked down on the world.
Now at our vacation rental near Lake Erie, we are on the ground floor, but the window view from bed is the embrace of a huge old volunteer tree. In the yard we watch squirrels and rabbits at eye level and we are hidden away from the world.
A treehouse isn’t just a structure. It’s a state of mind.
A treehouse lets you immerse in nature, become part of it. You are, yourself, a squirrel or maybe a lightning bug. In a treehouse there are no factories, highways, atomic weapons or cell phones.
There’s only room for you and maybe your best friend or your sister. You look down on the world and you hide from the world.
Everything small becomes very big. You can conceal yourself with a leaf.
These Ohio towns that we’re staying in have brought back to me the feeling of being a restless teenager. You can’t really be invisible. Being here is like being in a treehouse in the middle of a field. You can hide but you’re in plain sight.
We never had a treehouse back home. I didn’t really need one when I was little. I had plenty of trees to climb. Places to look down, to hide, to become as small as a bird.
When I grew up and couldn’t find a treehouse anymore, I went out into the world and hid under my profession. I could be brave and tough and bold. I could conceal myself in plain sight.
Now that I’m just a visitor, I’m back in a treehouse state of mind. Looking out at my child past to see what no one else does.
Everything small is big again.
Today’s penny is a 2012, when I came back to visit Ohio and discovered that I like it.