the cottonwood tree


Perhaps you have noticed that even in the very lightest breeze
you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree

~Black Elk

Snoskred asked where my safe place was as a child. Today’s story is about one of those safe places. Sort of.

My safe place was in a book. I loved books, I still do. My favorite day of the week was grocery shopping day (Thursdays) because not only did we get a donut, I got to go downstairs into the library where all the best things were. There is nothing better than a vast array of books, full of stories and new friends, just waiting for me to pick one.

Don’t get me wrong. I had real life friends and I played outside. I didn’t always live in a book. But from the time I learned to read a book has never been far from my hand. The best of them, the stories I lived along with the characters, I read again and again and again.

I read in my bedroom. I read in the bath. I read in the living room tucked into a corner of the big green couch. I read downstairs. I read by the iris because I loved them and I was hard to find there. And my favorite place to read was in the tops of the cottonwood tree. There was a perfect v-shaped branch that fit me just right. I could see over the top of the house and I was hidden by the thick foliage.

My mom, obviously, did not know about my favorite reading spot. I know she found out at some point but I’m afraid it was much later in my life. You don’t give up on a spot that good without a fight.


6 thoughts on “the cottonwood tree”

    1. A cottonwood is pretty easy to climb – once you get up to the first big branch. I used to have a trapeze-like swing made from a limb to help me up. Right up til it broke and I fell on my head.


  1. Thank you for answering my question! 😉 This obviously raises another question – which books did you love the most growing up? Have you revisited any of them recently?

    For me I loved Enid Blyton books, in particular the Magic Faraway Tree series. There were so many books and so little time, I often would read until the early hours of the morning after pretending I was asleep then turning my light back on.. I never went to the library without bringing home a tall pile of books. 🙂

    Enid Blyton books are quite difficult to find here these days, I tried to get them for my nephews and niece but failed epically. 😦


    1. A quick search suggests that Amazon carries them. At least some of them. I had not heard of her books so I looked them up and she wrote about 800 books.

      I will save your question for another day. But the quick answer is yes.


  2. I also would love to know which books you delved into. I too read a TON growing up and still do. My favorites were the Anne of Green Gables books and A Wrinkle in Time. But I read just about everything from sci-fi to romances.


    1. Okay Margaret. Tomorrow. Those are two of my favorite books, by the way. And only recently did I learn that they were parts of series.


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