It was the forbidden place. A small creek at the end of our unpaved alley.
Filled with all sorts of dangers, it was our second home. The parents might have known about it, and looked the other way.
There were also small snakes, frogs, biting insects of all kinds, and as we learned a bit too late, poison ivy.
All that aside, it was paradise, our everyday summer destination.
The pictures shown here are very similar, but not the real thing. It did not exist, so how could there be actual photos?
It was not gender-specific, it could never be. There were too many alpha females in the hood.
There were no passwords, no secret handshakes, no rules. If you and your friends got there first, it was yours, at least for an hour or so.
Years later, I would take my own kids there. The tree house was gone, but the rope swing remained. They too were mesmerized.
I suspect for most of that afternoon, they didn’t even think about the video games they’d left behind at the other end of the alley.
Kids and nature…the perfect combo. Some things never change.