Back to My Adventure

Missed the 1st part of this story? Read my last post here.

“The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground.” ~ Author unknown

image The tree-house man led me to an Indiana Jones style hanging bridge, constructed of ropes and wooden slats, which spanned a tree-filled valley far below, and connected the hillside behind his house to a huge Indian Banyan tree where a multi-story tree house was built. As I inched along the swaying bridge, I gazed at the ground, lush with taro, exotic fruit trees, Champa trees and trees I couldn’t name, an overgrown garden, and a fish pond buzzing with mosquitoes.

The valley was 60 feet below. I shook like Jell-O and the bridge swayed more. What if the ropes broke? I didn’t dare back up—afraid of losing my balance, I didn’t dare turn around, either. “Are you sure this bridge won’t break?” I rasped.

“No worries.” He said the bridge had held five obese people all at once the week before.

Had their combined weight weakened the ropes? I gripped the rope guides with a white-knuckled grip. The ground looked miles away.

The man pointed upward, through overhanging branches. “The tree intertwines with a living dome of giant bamboo, Bodhi trees, and sacred and medicinal vines.”

Bodhi tree. The name of that Buddhist tree made me think of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh’s words, “I am breathing in, I am breathing out.” I breathed deeply, repeating the words to myself. After several breaths, my grip on the rope relaxed.

I swayed the rest of the way across the bridge, climbed up branches thick as elephant legs to three separate levels behind my host. The man said he had continued to build on the tree house for the past 29 years. I told him I’d begun building something 29 years previously, too; my book Angel Hero, newly published by Mighty Quill Press.

“I’m intrigued by your title,” he said. “I’d like to read it.”

“Thanks! I’d like to autograph your copy.” Wow, you meet your readers in the most unusual places.

We climbed upward on wooden 2 by 4s nailed into the tree. I followed him through a collage of floors suspended below transparent roofs. A pyramid-shaped, giant bamboo cut through the tree’s high canopy, allowing a far-reaching view of the wide valley below. The man pointed past Waikiki, at the deep blue, white-capped ocean.

I inhaled the cool, moist air, redolent with ripe fruit and aromatic flowers, and thought about a story Barry had told me. The local boys who lived in the valleys below where he lived used to pick fights with him, accusing him of breathing the air before they did. Nobody has breathed this air, I thought, inhaling deeply, savoring the fresh, delicious scents up here on top of the world.

I’d never had the faintest idea the enormous tree house stood there, hidden behind a house in this woodsy neighborhood. “May I come back and take pictures?” I asked. “I’d like to capture how huge this tree is and its cool aerial roots and … how tall is it?”

“A hundred twenty feet. Of course you can come.” He handed me his card. “I’m often away. Better call first.”

I said I would, and thanked him for sharing his amazing tree house with me.

I’d like to return the favor by sharing more adventures with you, gentle readers. I hope you will share some of yours with me as well.

Missed the 1st part of this story? Read it here on my last post.


  1. Jan on May 10, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks, Lizbeth, for a wonderful coffee-and-breakfast story! I look forward to reading your novel!
    Jan, a friend of words and water! 😉

    • Lizbeth on May 11, 2014 at 12:16 am

      Thanks, Jan, for reading my posts and commenting:) I’m delighted you enjoyed the tree house story!.