It is Labor Day weekend. The nights have been cold, in the high 40s, and a steady rain on Sunday, but Saturday and Monday are sunny and dry. The air is no longer summer air. The world has opened out into a kind of clarity. Meadow and woods are still green, but with an inner hint of gold.
Emme has been spending hours in the tree. The last several weeks she will disappear from the house, and if I go out after her later I find her perched on a branch looking out over the meadow, or doing pull-ups thirty feet above the ground, or just roaming about among the branches. That she has found a place like this to go for a bit of tranquility, to be by herself, and be nourished, makes me deeply happy. Like Claire slipping out of the house at night after the rest of us are in bed to go walking down meadow paths in the moonlight.
Saturday afternoon I’m playing around with the cajon and I see Emme walk out of the house carrying a book. I practice for another half hour, then grab a book and head out after her. As I guess, she is up in the tree in her favorite spot, book open in her lap. She says she doesn’t mind if I join her so I climb up and find a spot of my own.
I like the juxtaposition of grainy paper and print against the rough bark of the tree. The stark contrast between black ink and cream paper, all sharp edges and definition on the one hand; and on the other the softly shaded grays and textures of trunk and branch, and luminous green leaves behind. I read for a while and then fish my phone out of my pocket and take some treebook pictures.
We spend the next hour or so exploring the best places to read in the tree–some are uncomfortable, some are very uncomfortable: all are wonderful. At one point i am lying back on two branches where they cross and Emme is seated about six feet above me, facing the trunk. We read, we talk, we laze. We look up at the sky and laze some more.
It’s glorious. Why had I never thought of reading in the tree?
It is the quintessence of summer, its perfect culmination, coming at its very end. And the seed of fall already planted in its heart. Already sprouting.
Before long we’ll be able to climb this new tree.
Sent from my iPad