It always surprises me the things that bring back memories. On my visit home recently, the landscape filled me with nostalgia. Yep, it is brown and barren this time of year. The smog settles into the valleys. But the pepper trees sway in the wind. The sound of the breeze between the pines can be loud and demand attention. Palm trees line the boulevards. The trees take me home, not just physically…but they transport me back to my youth. My dad built me the most awesome, incredible treehouse when I was a kid. We had a huge carob tree in our backyard, in which he built a platform type perch. He even built me a pulley system to bring up supplies. I spent countless hours up there, hiding-dreaming-pretending. It was my special place. The tree swayed slightly and the leaves moved around me. I was in another world. Geographically, that has been the hardest part of moving the the midwest plains. I deeply miss the sound of wind in the trees. Coming home reminded me just how much.