My Safe Harbour


Trees (Photo credit: @Doug88888)


No longer in the backyard of my childhood home

My tree lives on only in my memory.

In yesteryear

I would climb into my tree everyday

and sit in its generous crook,

my back leaning against the rough bark of the trunk.

The branches formed a canopy

shadowing the sun

A breeze would rustle the leaves ~

and I would settle in with a book

or just observe the world

whiling away an endless summer afternoon.

I was sad to see one day

when I went to visit the place where my beloved tree once reigned

that it was gone.


the vivid memories remain

of sunlit days sitting in my tree

safe and apart, yet one with the realm ~

English: Venerable tree, Breamore Down This be...

Venerable tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I ruled the world from its safe harbour.


Remembered bliss–is there anything better? Do you have a childhood memory of bliss that stands out?

Published in: on April 18, 2013 at 9:49 am  Comments (53)  
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53 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a lovely picture you paint, LouAnn. πŸ™‚

  2. I remember that tree so well, I climbed it daily. I have vivid memories of cracking hickory nuts with a hammer on the back porch. It took so long to get to the nut part but the journey was half the fun. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

    • I remember that–I love hickory nuts–do you know where I remember cracking them–by the brick fireplace almost under that tree

  3. What immediately came to mind when reading this post was not a memory of bliss, but a cute memory of my oldest son. There used to be a tree in our backyard, one of the only trees on our property. It wasn’t big and it wasn’t a spectacular tree by any means. However, it obviously meant a great deal to my oldest son as we found out on the day we had to cut it down. It was basically dead and Mike and our neighbour decided that it was becoming a safety risk to all of the kids and had to come down. Well, we thought nothing of it, but the day that they cut it down Bryan balled his little eyes out. I can’t remember how old he was, but he was quite young, and he was devastated because he told us that tree was a very important part of his childhood. It was one of those moments when I realized what a sensitive person he was always going to be :).

    • that is sweet and sad–sad because I know how he feels

      • I know it was so sweet – all I could do was hug him all day and tell him that he would never forget his favourite tree. It would always be part of his memories :).

      • memory is such a precious thing–it is how we save those things that were important to us

  4. I had a Willow tree in our backyard. I liked to sit and read in it. Often I would study there as well. Too bad I dropped the habit in High School.

  5. What a great memory! This makes me think (and I’m trying really hard not to sound like an old person, here) …. it makes me think of how much imaginative fun kids are missing these days as they spend their time inside with video games.

    • I agree with you – although there have always been outside and inside kids–I played outside because I was told to–so I found a way to escape to my tree and read

  6. This was wonderful LouAnn! I, too, had a tree that I would retreat to. I would climb way up high. I don’t think my mother knew, otherwise she’d have forbidden it. πŸ™‚ I wonder if there is a “type” of kid that climbs trees to sit and observe or to feel one with nature. It’s a special feeling that comes from that particular escape. It’s grounding, for lack of a better word. I think you said it best with describing it’s generous crook and calling it your beloved tree. I think we personified our trees. They were protective, strong and larger than all other life. Ironically we felt safe in our trees.
    I saw a documentary on Michael Jackson once and it said that he always retreated to the branches of his tree when he was feeling overwhelmed. Maybe it’s a sensitive type or creative type that finds peace in the tree tops? (That part of the documentary made me sort of sad.)
    Look how much you have my brain working this morning!!
    Wish I was having that cup of Joe with you right now. πŸ™‚

    • I think you are right that a certain type of person “retreats” in a way to sort of figure out the world–wish we were having cuppa together too!

  7. This morning you brought to mind all of the wonderful forts I built as a kid. Some were made of couch cushions piled into a heap. Some were flatten cardboard boxes lying against the basement wall. Some were just stamped tall grasses marking off where the imaginary walls stood. The excitment of having your own secret place is still palatable. Thanks for loosening the memories.

    • those are wonderful memories — it seems we all had to make our own place in the world–a secret place we understood and could imagine in

  8. Making mudpies our backyard with my sisters, the smell of honeysuckles. Drinking from the hose. Playing in our playhouse in the shape of a giant shoe that my Daddy made for us. A fence full of white rabbits. Our many animals. Childhood, innocent bliss.

  9. That’s beautiful and your memories are so vivid…

    .I did spend some summers with my brother and his family, away from the city in a small town and they were fun ..and I did have a special girlfriend I was happy to see each year …Diane… .

  10. That tree lives as long as you remember it – or any of us who read this remember it! xoxoM

  11. I want a tree like that! Not once did I read in a tree. Need to correct that.

    • you are young–there is still time–I would probably fall out on my head today!

  12. I can understand your feelings about the tree. I’m always writing about trees!

  13. My good childhood memories were the hours upon hours I spent under our huge weeping willow tree. I always had a book with me and felt as if I were invisible as the branches had never been trimmed so they made a curtain that flowed along the yard and hid me from everyone. Unfortunately, my tree, like yours, is no longer standing and is only alive in my memory.

    • thank goodness we have our memories–it is sad that they are no longer around though–I love that you felt invisible under the veil of the willow branches

  14. You’ve brought back memories of my tree. I sat in it for hours with my sisters watching the world pass by. And very little of the world passed by where we lived!!

  15. This reminds me of a small grove of trees in my elementary school playground that would always become a magic forest for my best friend and I. It was like only we could see the things it did for us and no one else could. We were often told by the supervisor to stay away from the trees because it was “dangerous” and I could never understand why she couldn’t see how much safer we were in our ‘forest’ than outside in the hot sun with other kids.

    • so many things that catch our imagination as kids were deemed “dangerous:–I know at my kids’ school there were so many restrictions at the recesses and noon hour it was amazing the kids could even breathe
      I am glad you and your friend had your magic forest–and yes it was safer than with the other kids I bet sometimes

  16. I always wanted to have a tree-house. But – that never happened. We never had a tree that would hold such a thing.
    Childhood bliss…so many – but – I il have to say out loud – riding my bike until dusk!

  17. I LOVE trees! Used to climb them when i was little, and had a favourite i would sit in.

    Thanks for the memories LouAnn πŸ™‚


    • We have that in common–writers sitting in trees–sounds like a book!

      • Ha ha ha, now THERE’S an idea πŸ˜‰


      • okay–maybe we should all write a short story and call it “The Trees of Our Lives”–actually maybe even a novel

      • Shhhhhhh….don’t give your idea away πŸ˜‰


      • my ooops

  18. […] My Safe Harbour ( […]

  19. Oh, Kat, thank you! You reminded me of my childhood trees in the apple orchard. How lovely it was to sit embraced by the arms of the apple trees!

  20. I really really, liked this one. Great!!!

    • thanks so much–do you have a tree in your memory bank?

      • I remember now that you mention it. I was trying to catch up to most of your posts. I remember a persimmon and a mulberry tree and I could sit under the trees and daydream. We lived with my grandfather for several years before my parents bought their farm. I was about 9-12 years old at the time.

      • daydreaming is one of the best pastimes of childhood and under your favourite tree–even better

  21. You have reminded me that children love treetops and I like to think the trees love the kids back. The death/loss of a tree is always sad. This is lovely poetry too.

  22. I too, had a tree growing up! I was just reminiscing over it the other day when I looked out the dining room window at my parent’s house πŸ˜‰

    • It is funny how many of us feel a closeness to “our” tree–and that so many of us had significant trees in our lives

  23. so sweet the images of innocent pleasures ~ lovely!

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