When I was a little girl, I used to beg and plead my dad to build me a tree house, a play house, any kind of house that would be mine and mine alone. There were kids in the neighbourhood that had amazing play houses, sadly I was not one of them. I tried many times to venture into the swamps and tundra to build myself a tree house or a tree fort or anything I could spend my time in, but each time I did the boys would destroy it. Keep in mind, these boys were actually my very best friends, but to them, anything with the word “house” in it was for girls, and I wasn’t a “real girl”. I was a tomboy (they still say this ironically – yet, I can still beat the snot out of each of them too, but that’s another story. So is what they did to the few dolls I had as a kid, another time).
My love of the idea of a tree house came from the book Bridge to Terabithia, which was and probably still is my favourite book of all time. When I’m feeling down in the dumps, I pull out my old dog eared copy I received in the 1st grade. In the book, the two title characters create an imaginary kingdom in the forest near their home. They name it Terabithia, and declare wildly that they are the king and queen of the land. Terabithia can only be accessed by a rope swing, and is protected from outsiders knowing or seeing it is there, unless they are invited. When in Terabithia all is happy and well, no bullies, no problems with parents or siblings or being hungry, and the characters are able to just be kids.
If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend you pick up a copy. Especially those of you that have kids of school age. It deals with a lot of themes that are important for kids and adults. Ironically, the book apparently has been a frequent target of censors, which makes absolutely no sense to me, and has been on the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Book lists. Yes, it deals with heavy themes like death, religion, the occult and has some strong language, but it’s certainly shouldn’t be a controversial read, even for pre-teens.
I can remember hearing at school that there was a movie being filmed not far from where I lived. I shrugged and didn’t think anything of it until I learned the actual movie was, yes you guessed it, Bridge to Terabithia! I rode my bike out to where they were filming, because in my mind I’d get to see Jesse and Leslie in real life! Now looking back, I’m not too sure exactly what I was expecting, but I don’t think I had ever been so excited. When I arrived, I was sadly disappointed because I couldn’t get anywhere near the houses, or the kids! I rode home in tears, I didn’t understand why visiting wasn’t like stepping into the book. I was crushed, and that memory lives deep inside of me to this day.
Years later, my best friend lived across the field from one of the houses where the movie was filmed. Late one night, after consuming some adult beverages (under age) I suggested we go check out the house. It had long since been abandoned, and had been used for a few horror movies over the years. We entered the house, and were greeted with a terrible smell, and some lovely wall drawings (Occult type stuff), and a sheep’s head on one of the banisters (maybe?). My friend looked at me, I looked at her and we ran like we had never run before back to her house. Needless to say, we never went back and to this day I’m unsure if any of it was real, but there have always been rumours. Sad considering it really was a beautiful old house. The house still stands the last time I drove by (just before the snow came), and I wish I could find a really good picture of it. The other house, which Jesse lived in, was torn down this past summer to make way for condo’s. What’s really sad about it is the house and the barn were supposed to be saved as a community center (under historic orders) but the developers took it down and accepted a fine instead. (these are really bad images taken from the original movie).
How does this all tie into my love for tree houses, play houses, tree forts and anything of the like? Pretty simple. Bridge to Terabithia inspired my imagination, it inspired me to want to build my own personal Terabithia, even if it was made out of cardboard or left over pieces of wood.
Makeup: Alaskametro | Limited edition | launch skin (light)
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Props and Poses: Alouette | Cardboard Castle