I often find pictures of beautiful tree houses on my facebook page and they usually look something like those pictured here and the comments are all ‘Oooh, I’d like that’ and ‘I want to live there,’ and it’s true, I would, too, it’s sort of a fantasy.
They are a far cry from the tree houses we used to build as kids, which consisted of a few boards sawed into short lengths nailed up the trunk to form a ladder, and a few boards or maybe a pallet or two spread across two branches and nailed down. They were tree platforms, a far cry even from the box with a door sawed into it which is the traditional tree house of films and cartoons, and those are a far cry from what’s pictured here.
These stand as proof that everything in life gets upscaled. For everything that is even slightly desirable, there is a luxury version.
It makes me wonder, however, what is so appealing about tree houses? Outside of the obvious, of course: a place to withdraw from society and the pressures of every day life, a romantic place to bring a date back to, the wonder of being on the same level as the birds and having squirrels for neighbors, a magnificent view, plenty of shade and a cool breeze.
I have a theory. Just as they say that from the moment a man is born he spends the rest of his life trying to get back into the womb, perhaps tree houses are an attempt on the part of mankind to get back to our original roots. We are descended from creatures who descended from the trees, who traded all those fruits and nuts for the privilege of walking upright across the plains and maybe getting killed by lions.
The long term benefits of that choice are undeniable. Nonetheless, there might be a small voice in the back of our heads reminding us of the paradise we left behind, and crying out to go back.