When I am among the trees
I love the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in Winter – think cosy wood fires, full cream sherry, hot bubble baths, and spectacular crisp starry skies. And what better way to enjoy all of these lovely things than in the most characterful of stays - a treehouse. Made entirely of beautifully crafted wood, the treehouses at Sycamore Avenue are magical spaces in which to inspire the soul. The Sycamore Avenue slogan is “If we can’t fly with birds, we can at least nest among them.” They have created the most beautiful nests, each in a private space and nestled up against a large tree. There is something so fantastical about this idea of sleeping in a treehouse – a childhood fantasy and the ultimate escape from the grown-up pressures of real life.
I stay in the Faraway Treehouse, aptly named for its setting in a paddock with views to open grassland and the Drakensburg beyond. A double storey treehouse with two decks - every window, door, step, wall hook and shelf is a bespoke work of art. Curved smooth golden timber meets the eye, and in every space there is a new discovery – some detailing which is as beautiful as it is humorous. The doors and some of the windows have curvy tree shapes laid over the glass. There are creative wooden brackets and hinges everywhere. The upstairs mirror has carved wooden lettering which reads at the top “What a sight...” and at the bottom of the mirror “for sore eyes.”
What I love about Sycamore Avenue Treehouses:
- Individually styled double-storey tree-houses set against lovely old trees
- Creative and artistic detailing
- Fireplaces in open-plan bedrooms
- Private Jacuzzi baths with views of grasslands and the Berg
- Decks, hammocks and picnic tables under trees
- Caring accommodation comforts – heaters, hairdryers, fridges, tea and coffee facilities and en-suite toilet
- Individual parking spaces for each car under the treehouse
- Fabulous meals served in a spacious restaurant with individual tables set against wide glass windows with lovely views
- Warm and generous hosting
I create my own little Nordic spa experience at the top of my treehouse - with a candle-lit, hot bubble bath in the Jacuzzi and wide open double doors to the winter night skies. I catch myself giving sighs of happiness. After my bath, still steaming from the heat, I go out onto the deck and the sight of the Milky Way and Southern Cross takes my breath away. Being up in this treehouse makes me feel like I can touch the stars and I want to be as free and as spacious as this clear night sky. In her poem, When I am among the trees, Mary Oliver writes:
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir their leaves
and call out, "Stay awhile."
And light flows from their branches.
And they call again, "It's simple," they say,
"and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine."
with light, and to shine."