Childhood Tree, by Lisa Bartell
Laura lived in the tip top of a magical apple tree in the front yard of a large white house. She could have lived inside with her mother, her father and her older sister, but she knew the house belonged to them. The “Tree” belonged to Laura.
Adults walked past the tree never really looking. Kids climbed and sat on the tree’s branches having kid conversations. All they saw was a simple apple tree. Only Laura saw the magic deep inside the “Tree”.
The lowest and largest branch transformed in to a gentle and loving horse who never grew tired of Laura climbing upon his back. They shared glorious moments of stillness or a race thru the winds. Laura always thanked her horse for being so loyal. She kissed him goodnight and said goodbye as she climbed further up the tree.
She reached the highest branches to her very own house. It was a place of enchantment, hidden to everyone but Laura. Only she was allowed entrance to this secret space. A spiral staircase connected two glamorous rooms. Laura climbed to the first floor and sat before a vanity covered with brilliant colors of lipstick, eye shadow and nail polish. There was a big powder puff to pat her nose and a brush gliding rosy red across her cheeks. Laura was almost ready to make her grand entrance upstairs. She gracefully slid her legs into silk stockings and high heel shoes which glistened with pink sparkles. She stepped into a gown which surrounded her body with white satin and lace. Laura slowly glided further up the spiral staircase and entered a room that glowed like a 1920's ballroom Green velvet couches with large rounded arms, gold gilded walls and chandeliers dancing rainbow stars across the floor. Laura was the most beautiful girl in the room.
Laura is now 80 years old. She has traveled thru many secret houses since she was seven. They have all been magical, warm and safe. She is still that child of imagination, riding thru the wind on the back of a gentle beast, wearing high heel shoes that make her feel beautiful. Sometimes the wind has been strong causing her to fall and be tossed in the wrong direction, but the horse slows down, lets her catch her breath and climb back on. They take off to wherever Laura needs to go.
Childhood Tree, oil on canvas, 36 x 24, $800