• Michael

#0029: The Otters' Den

Updated: Aug 12

When I was little, I had a treehouse. Friends on the Isle of Mull built it for my sister and me, and it was ours whenever we went to stay.


It was made of driftwood, marine ply and old rope. To me, it was the most beautiful thing in the world.


Little steps, nailed to the trunk, led to a trap door which opened onto a deck with a hammock made of old fishing nets and a rope swing made of anchor line. We'd lie there, swaying in the breeze, surveying our domain over the treetops and out across Loch Scridain.


We called ourselves the Otters. A secret club of two. Every visit, we'd raise the little flag we made, to mark our arrival.


Up there, the world was ours and we could be anything we wanted to be.


I was a pirate aboard his galleon.


I was an astronaut in his spaceship.


I was Moon-Face in the Faraway Tree.


I was the happiest boy in the world.


Over the years, the trips to Mull became less frequent. My memories of the Otter Treehouse faded away until they were barely there at all.


Until I moved to Smithy Cottage. Then they all came flooding back.


At the top of the garden, above the house, and the lawn, and the burn which runs right around the cottage, the previous owners had built a deck. By the time I arrived, it was long past its best and in desperate need of some attention. But I knew, the moment I saw it, that this would be my new treehouse. My place to climb up to, away from the world.


Hours have been spent replacing woodwork, applying endless coats of stain, and building a new summerhouse to hide away in.


And it's all been so worth it.


Up here, all I can smell is the warm air rising from the garden, carrying with it the scent of honeysuckle, roses, and freshly cut grass. All I can hear is the rustling of the leaves in the breeze, and the burn tumbling over rocks below.


Up here, the world is mine and I can do anything I want to do.


I'm dancing with my friends.


I'm planning my next adventure.


I'm flat on my back, looking up at the stars.


I'm the happiest man in world.


You're one of the Otters now. Come on up.



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