The summer trees are in their prime right now, creating cascades of canopy underneath which we diminutive humans walk. I was thinking about how much I have loved creating hideaways under canopies of trees all my life. I'm sure I'm not alone.
A snow draped pine bough makes a perfect secret hiding place in the winter time. When a low hanging curtain of oak or maple leaves creates a tent-like hallway, who can resist walking underneath it?
It is one of those inclinations that makes me imagine that we carry a deeper connection to our collective ancestry than we imagine. Or I suppose it could just be the survival instinct of our species to be attracted to a useful shelter.
For my tenth birthday my mother gave me a canopy bed as a surprise gift. I had wanted one for a long time, and when I walked into my room and saw the lacy white shelter under which I would sleep, I raced downstairs to hug my mom. I had always had problems with "scared of the dark." Something about this canopy over my head made me feel safer. What could possibly be deterred by a tent covering of light cotton? Who knows. But it felt reassuring to me.
Food. Shelter. Clothing. That is what it comes down to. That is really all that we need, that our instincts insistently seek out for our well being. That is why children love to crawl into a tent, or create a fort out of an old refrigerator box, or set up house under a table. When we grow up, the shelters we create get awfully elaborate, and sometimes we surely get carried away.
It's a nice thing to ponder when you get caught in a light rain and walk underneath a canopy of trees. Nature has got us covered.