I would climb up in the great big sycamore next to the blighted willow who’s stump was all my father left standing in the yard after he cut her down. The tire swing hung from her arm when I was very little, too small to climb, I would let her wispy drapes tickle my nose, her cascading leaves brought welcome shade in summer’s hottest hours. After she died, I took to the nearest elder, Sycamore had stood tall for a long time. His patchy bark had many smooth places for a child’s legs and arms to wrap around, the climb up was tricky, but strong branches held me safely and I could go so high up. Months and ants lived under the loose bark on the trunk. I would leave bone offerings to the tree for protection. Sometimes I would take the mice from traps in the house and hang them from the lowest branches to keep away evil spirits. I don’t know where these rituals came from, only that I knew they were to keep bad things away. At the top of the tree wind would do her best to shake me out of the branches, but I would sway with the entire tree and feel right at home rocking back and forth through an afternoon watching the horizon dip and spin in the distance. During violent thunderstorms, I would not go up in my Sycamore. Thunder beings were not to be trifled with. They were beautiful and hideous at the same time. One moment the sky would light up with white dragons ripping across billowing black mountains in the havens, in the very next instant, many time, simultaneously, the thunderous roar of raging tempests slammed my pounding heart through the back of my chest! I would watch storms from my bedroom window at night. In darkness, you cannot see a storm coming, you her it, or see the flashes in the distance if you’re already awake from the electricity in the air. That electric energy is still with me whenever I have to sit somewhere for a long time. It’s a wrestles feeling, like the grass always moving in the wind. When things get calm, it signals the approaching storm. This itching is ingrained in my frame, every bone feels it when the whether changes. As a child I would always worry about where the animals were during bad storms. I wondered where the birds would hide during a tornado. I still have nightmares about spinning wind towers.