Gianna saw it first: the tree house on Seventh Street. Sitting on the sturdy branches of a mango tree, it hinted of blustery summers: of kites and blue skies and magical childhood days. Checking on the tree house became a routine--and Gianna and I would often dream of the time when our own mango tree is big enough to hold up our own tree house.
The other day, though, there was no more tree house to check on. It had been unused too long, said the man who built it for his two kids. The children are long gone, rebuilding their lives in faraway places. He is too old to climb, and there is little chance that the grandchildren would ever come home.
And so, he tore down the tree house. Better a cleaner skyline, he said, than a lonely structure that rings with memories of days lone gone.
Years ago, when the country was on a building frenzy, I felt a sinking sense of loss when they tore down a graceful mansion in QC to give rise to one of those impersonal developments. The house belonged to a president.
It was the same loss I felt when a they took down a quaint house along West Avenue. The same loss I feel now with the old tree house.
Alas, some of the monuments of our lives are not meant to last.