A common thread weaved through the best fiction ever written is truth. A place of authenticity stripped down to the bare bones, laid out for the world to devour. The reader connects, not to the words, but to the spirit behind the words. The author’s soul.
Winnie the Pooh, who had the coolest treehouse of all, is a series of tales based on a real bear. Each of his friends … Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Christopher Robin, Kanga, and Roo … were based on actual people. That’s why the story affects us. Infects us. With hope, dreams, and memories of yesteryear when life was much simpler. It’s genuine, and as humans, we long for things that are real.
This past weekend, I escaped to a real life treehouse. Out in the middle of what appears to be a world of its own, perched within the safe confines of four towering pines, is Morrison’s Treehouse Getaway. It’s not a place to go when you’re running away from something, but a place you run to … because something you long for is missing.
Remember when summer meant exploring a grand forest? It may have been half an acre of woods behind your house, but through eyes that have yet to be jaded, those straggly trees provide hours of fantasy. Climbing on rocks. Collecting treasures in your pocket that you’ve picked up from around the base of evergreens. Splashing in a creek. Returning home for dinner, covered head to toe in dirt and grass stains. Staying up late, lying outside on the ground, sharing your heart with your best friend … paying no attention to the time or how much sleep is needed before greeting the rising sun. Just living life.
If the best tales are written from an honest place that has been stripped down … then perhaps the best memories are written in a similar way. When our surroundings are stripped down and laid bare. A few days without Netflix, cell phone coverage, and the need for a car. Allowing our truest selves to shine forth. Re-discovering what we knew in our youth. This world is what we make it, and we have the power to write our own stories every day.
The best thing about Morrison’s Treehouse is that it’s simple. Yes, it’s beautiful in every way, but in a very relaxing sort of way. The owners have gone to great lengths to make the space comfortable and welcoming. It feels like home. They open the door, and have left it up to the visitors to find their way.
On our journey, we sang songs on the grand deck around a fire. We explored the stream, climbed on rocks, and made our way down every trail. We saw bear prints and imagined how big the bear might be. The girls slept in the loft above me, and when lights were out, we stayed up late into the night talking about nothing … and everything … not paying attention to how much sleep we might need until the sun rose to bring on the morning. For a couple of days, we unplugged from life and reunited on a different level. On the base human level we all share, regardless of whether we’re family, friends, neighbors, or even strangers.
“…what I like doing best is Nothing.”
“How do you do nothing?” asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
“Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and you go and do it.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh.
“This is a nothing sort of thing that we’re doing right now.”
“Oh, I see,” said Pooh again.
“It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
~A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner