I have always enjoyed a good wander through the woods. The trees create a sense of home that I can find nowhere else. When a forest is unavailable, I make do by climbing a tree. The best climbing tree is in the front yard of the home my family has inhabited for the past sixteen years. Within those branches, I have discovered worlds.
One day, when I was about sixteen, I had ascended to my accustomed perch, book in hand. While glancing away from the page, I discovered that I was no longer alone; a door-to-door salesman was on our front walk.
The best part of climbing trees is the way it makes you invisible. No one expects to see someone up a tree, and no one takes the time to look. Unless, of course, they feel they are being watched.
Perhaps he felt me looking at him, daring him to look up, because he did. He gave an unmistakable start, and asked me a question that had never before been addressed to a teen up a tree:
“Ma’am, are you the homeowner?”