I sat sticking to the scorching black linoleum covering the oak stairs to my great-aunt's back porch. The sweat poured down me like a thin steam following my spine to the small of my back. Despite the sweltering heat, and air so thick you could cut through it with a knife, my dad and uncle labored on to build me the most beautiful tree house I have ever seen. Even though it was nearing twilight the heavy July air still laid upon the three of us like a wool blanket. They had just let me help hammer the last nail in place before my mom called out to us that dinner was ready.
My tree house, my sanctuary, my refuge, was the only place that I ever felt invincible. It was built about four feet from the dark moist earth below, wrapped tightly around an incredibly large willow tree laden with heavily falling branches that incased my most precious spot.
In the front of the tree the drape-like branches were pulled to the sides and tied like pigtails to the other branches revealing a hidden treasure. The light came through the tree in both thin and wide beams that highlighted the greatest aspects of the house. It bounced off the small steps leading to the wrap-around porch and poured delicately through the heart shaped windows on the door. The sun spilt gently through the slivers between the wood slat roof and through the large rectangular windows. Even if it was chilly outside but the sun was out, the tree house looked like the warmest, most comforting place to be.
Not only was the outside attractive, but the inside, behind those small heart-shaped windows was a child's dream home. The three rooms within the cedar walls were filled with toys...