By Liam Hoole
Media Production Editor
Imagine, if you will, being perched atop a tall tree, looking out over the vast Bay Area landscape as huge predatory birds fly at eye level and a warm breeze dances across your sun-baked face. This is what I get to experience every time I climb up to my treehouse. The word “treehouse” might conjure up memories or depictions of early childhood experiences, but as I have come to realize over the past year (and the past month of confinement in particular), even those of an older generation can enjoy the idea of a treehouse.
During the blistering summer of 2019, I set out to build a treehouse. I had always wanted one and needed a summer project. I finished it and thought little of it besides being a platform from which to escape a crowded five-person family home. But then, overnight, I was morally and socially obligated to stay within the confines of my own home and backyard.
The treehouse has become the foundation on which I have built many new, enjoyable pastimes. I built a garden amongst the trees and have since sprouted half a dozen different herbs and vegetables, teaching myself the frustrating practice of botany through trial and error. I strung up a hammock and, after having never considered reading an enjoyable pastime, finished two books. An extra benefit is that without a security deposit, you can quite literally cut holes in the walls and mold the structure like you would a Lego project. I get so much enjoyment out of it and, at the end of the day, get to say that I built it with my own two hands. Having a place where I am able to be in nature, be comfortable, and be alone when I so choose is of immeasurable worth and has truly made this quarantine and every other day much more bearable.
If creativity and mental wellbeing were a destination, it would take a proactive mind to reach it, and building an environment in which to foster both of those is possibly one of the most proactive approaches of all. A treehouse might be quite a specific example, but I urge you to take the idea in whatever context works for you and apply it to your own life, integrating sunshine and a bit of hard labor wherever possible.