I am from a little village—a place not too close or too far from Manhattan. It’s a small town, a hipster sort of place, which the city-dwellers migrate toward on the weekends. Artisan cafés, antique barns, and boutiques hide behind the windows of colorful storefronts. There is an overabundance of coffee shops, each one suitable for a different person or mood. The weekenders frustrate a lot of the locals, while others find pride and entertainment in the art of recognizing these foreign characters in public.
My house can be found on a rural, winding road, which does not boast a single row of center lines. My father always complains about this, since the tourists never remain on the proper side of the street. Horses and cows are scattered between the pastures, while red foxes hide in the bushes beside the flood drains. It is a perfect place to remain—not too far from civilization, but far enough for the peace that comes with distance.
An old tree stands on the edge of the meadow, which holds my house in the palm of its hand. Its branches reach toward the field of clover, like a person who wishes to dance in the sunlight of the open space. I’m not sure what type of tree it is—the bark is quite rough, and salamanders like to hide between the roots. Even before the sage-colored house was built on the top of the hill, the tree reached out with arms of welcome.
I wander down there at least once a week now, on foot or the back of my chestnut mare. I can never manage to pull myself up into the branches, without hanging like an animal with my arms wrapped around the trunk. It was crowned “the sloth tree” for this very reason, much to the wit and amusement of my brother.
In the midst of rural countryside, it has become a sort of gathering place, where friends meet under the light of the afternoon. Even when no one stands under the branches, I swear the laughter remains, with the faint scent of daisies and whisper of autumn.
(a bit of work from my creative writing course)
~ Erin E. Forbes
Erin Forbes is the young author of the Fire & Ice book series. When she was sixteen years old, she published the first installment in the
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