Monday, November 16, 2009

The Castle of Youth


I'm still working hard on the novel, at the expense of having an interesting outside life to report upon. So this is an entry I should have posted a month or two ago, when things didn't look so autumnal.

The Morris Arboretum, here in Philadelphia, is your essential Pretty Neat Place. I'm a member, and I spend a certain amount of time there, communing with that strange hybrid of nature and artifice which a really good arboretum is.

Recently, the Morris added a new attraction: the Tree Adventure. It's a walkway that lets you wander up in the forest canopy, fifty feet up, in perfect safety. It has various educational features which are actually interesting. It has a giant bird nest with giant eggs in it, which kids can climb atop. Best of all, there's a rope net which allows kids to roll and clamber about high, high, high above the ground without the least chance of getting hurt. It's a very cool thing that operates exactly the way it's designed to, and children love it.

So the irony is extremely gentle that, not very far away from the Tree Adventure, a clutch of children found a real dead tree they could climb upon. That's them up above. In a castle. Or a sailing ship. Or something else equally cool and equally closed to the adult imagination.


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