About the same time I enjoyed visiting my Mama Tree, I discovered a pair of pines at the other end of the park across the street from the new house.
These pines flanked a small stone building that wasn’t really a building at all, since it had only a thick stone column on each corner of its raised concrete platform, a heavy, slanting slate roof overhead, and a single bench in the middle. The bench was painted a rich deep green. Sitting on it, I could look out over the expanse of grass to the fountain in the middle of the park (where I had my first kiss), and further beyond it to my Mama Tree swaying in the wind as if waving hello. The building was great for rainy days and forbidden kisses, but on sunny days, I much preferred being alone with the trees.
One of the two pines was perfect for climbing and I loved to tuck a book in my pocket and grab hold of the lowest branch, swing my legs up and climb out to a set of branches that were perfectly arranged to cradle my butt and brace my back while I sat in the dappled sunshine breathing in the heady pine fragrance and losing myself in a good story.