The Girl Who Sat in Trees

Before there were synced calendars and day planners and even before there were trapper keepers, there was a little girl who sat in trees. She sat in the trees for what felt like hours, though it might have been mere minutes. She dreamed, journal-ed and sketched. She transported to a place of joy and bliss, cradled in the crooks of maples and oaks, conversing with imaginary beings.

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Eventually the little girl grew up and as happens, she stopped sitting in trees. She loved her art and writing and singing, but she was so very good at accomplishing what was asked of her –grades, scores certificates and awards–that little by little the doing and achieving overtook the being and dreaming. Sure, there were times she held on tightly; she traded calculus for art class, she filled nearly three dozen personal journals, and she took an art class here or there even as an adult. But no doubt, over time she shifted. She was a girl with goals and one day even the art was remembered as the silly musings of a child; the dreaming became purely the intellectual kind.

Nobody told her to put down the paint brush. They didn’t need to. She was a good rule-follower and she understood the unspoken rules of a world that stood in direct opposition to the place in the trees.

And so it was that decades later she found herself at the finish line all burned out and dried up. Even then she didn’t understand why. She was doing her very best to practice self-care and find balance within the system. She followed her heart within this system. She defied norms within this very system! So why wasn’t it working? What she didn’t know then is that no system–even this artificial world dominated by deadlines, goals and outputs, where rest was seen as a means to at some point get more done–did not exist outside the laws of nature. As far removed as she was from those trees of her childhood, the moon still waxed and waned above her. The seasons turned. The oak rested in winter and sprouted leaves in spring. Try as she might to will herself to make it work–to power through as she had always done–simply no longer worked because the answers would never be found in the wasteland.


  1. I love this so much. I love the way you write. 😌✌🏼💓 Isn’t it amazing how life sometimes pushes us back to seeing that creative spark buried deeply within? Illness helped me find it. I know you meant more than the literal tree part, but I was that girl too. I spent so much time climbing trees, making tree houses, hiding in trees as a kid, playing with friends and creatures that only my mind could conjure . You drew pictures, I etched into the bark. It was freedom and a portal to anywhere I could imagine. Thank you for this beautiful post! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind compliment! I love that you have magical memories of being in trees too. They are amazing. Portals for sure! And yes life has a way of waking us up when we need to be woken, doesn’t it?! I hope you are doing healthy and well, and how beautiful that you were able to see the hidden gifts in the illness. May we keep igniting that spark we felt as kids up in the tree houses!! (And thanks so much for reading and your lovely comment!)

      Liked by 1 person

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