They say first impressions are the most important, at least they tend to stick with you. Our first impressions with nature are no different. The intensity and sheer wonder linger on long after the moment has passed. That is why each month we want to feature a first impression, that initial moment of realization of the power and magic of a leaf on the ground, a cloud in the sky, or butterfly flapping its wings for the first time.
So with out further ado, this month's first impression comes to us from Katie who discovered the beauty and incredible versatility of an Oak tree and magical worlds it led to.
If you have a first impression you would like to share please send text and any photos you would like included to firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to write First Impressions in the subject line.
I have the most vivid memory… I couldn’t have been more than 6, but I felt like a queen.
My castle was invisible to sibling invaders in the shadow of the swings and slides of my neighborhood park. My parents didn’t know of the world hidden between the tree trunks.
The oak trees had grown with just the perfect degree of bend to create a secret world. The entrance to my abode was the perfect size for a small red headed queen like me. The branches and leaves entangled to shield out all but a few rays of golden sunshine. The ground of my shady hideaway was made of damp soil scattered with leaves and acorns from autumns passed.
There I stayed, for what seemed like hours upon end, creating bubbling pots of stew with rocks and mud and small nests of sticks and leaves. And then, almost on accident, I found the fire.
The fire came in brilliant reds, blues, and greens. It was a heatless and harmless fire only I could see through the filter of my 6-year-old eyes and imagination. My castle walls could explode with colors so vivid I felt like I was in a storybook. Rubbing fallen branches, leaves, and stones along the tree trunks mesmerized me. I turned from a queen to a wizard. The pots of stew became potions to change the colors of the flames.
As the years passed my castle was eventually replaced with hikes and bicycles, but the flames of my oak tree remain as vivid as the first day I imagined them.
Thank you Katie for sharing such a wonderful and imaginative first impression with us!
*Last time in Nature: The Bugs Are Back!