Here in Pennsylvania, spring is blooming all around us. The sweet scent in the air and the appearance of bright yellow dandelions in the fresh grass brings back childhood memories of exploring the great outdoors.
I grew up on an 18 acre farmette, so there was plenty of room to roam. And most of my friends lived on farms, or a country road. I'm not exactly an outdoor person, but I loved playing outside as a girl. Granted, most of the time I was lying in the grass, or huddled under a tree, reading a book. But I also did my fair share of exploring nature.
We had a woods behind our house. I had a favorite tree in that woods. A tall, graceful hemlock with deep, drooping branches that just brushed the dirt. The branches were important because when you crawled underneath them, it was as if you've entered a sanctuary of sorts. Warm sunlight filtered through the evergreen branches, touching the ancient, overgrown tree roots. Two lower branches hung like gymnastic bars, perfect to swing and hang onto.
I created a little house under that majestic hemlock. A pile of soft, white pine tree branches became a sofa. A pretend kitchen emerged as I filled pockets of the roots with acorns and emerald moss. A bunch of buttercups sat on my leaf table and, of course, a good pair of binoculars to spy on potential intruders.
Most of all, I remember the freedom I felt lying under its green canopy. A beautiful place to daydream and think. I spent many hours of my childhood under that cherished tree. Even as a teenager, I'd go under its protective covering. Seemed a bit smaller, but it still possessed the same feeling. Freedom and a connection to nature we too easily take for granted as adults.