I was a small girl once, I still am. Just not as small as when I remember the best times. I was small and pale and had wild blond hair. I was fearless in a different way… the way children are allowed to be because they haven’t been tainted or jaded by the world yet and everything is still exciting and new and you were encourages to be imaginative and explore the world at your level. When the bush on the edge of our property was more than a bush. Instead it was a secret place because it covered a tiny little space that was clear and hollow and fit my little wooden chair in it. The sun spilled in through the branches and speckled my little space with dancing light. I would climb trees and stay there all day pretending it was my home and I was a bird. I was a little song bird, not flashy but brown and tiny and overlooked. Maybe even a chickadee. I was the same song bird that woke up the neighborhood by persistently singing in their open windows in the summer time, who would, when my job was done, take flight to an adventure in the woods down the street. My tree was perfect for climbing and living. It was like the seeds that started it couldn’t decide who would win so they all grew from the same spot. I could step inside where my dad had cut a few limbs that created stairs and on the top stair on tip toes I could reach the branch and swing my feet up and over. and climb. Climb until the branches felt small and unsure under my feet and there I would stay. I would sing church songs and play with the lady bugs that inhibited it. and when the sun began its setting my mother would call me in. In bed I would dream about my adventures and secret friends and secret places and how I couldn't wait for sleep because my dreams made them feel more real and when I woke up to the warm sun kissing my cheeks and hear the bird outside my window I felt alive.