b'Righton Rivers24 My Thinking TreeImagination. Its a curious word, often interpreted in different ways. To me, imagination is an airport with many destinations. However, Im the only one riding the escalator, the only one checking in for the flight, and the only one boarding the aircraft. I come as a passenger but wind up flying the plane. The airport of my imagination is really an oak tree in my front yard where I used to play. Whenever I was bored, I would go outside to my tree, pick up a stick, and fly away. I called it my thinking tree, and it was like a dear friend to me.Mysensoryobservationshelpedmemaintainthevividmemoryofdaysaround my tree. Touch and sight are two very important senses that allow me to set the scene. I remember well the roughness of the bark against my fingers, the weight and smoothness of the stick in my hand, and the sharpness of the cool wind in the winter. Around my tree is a spiderweb of roots jutting out of the ground and spreading about my feet. The branches are also a mess of twisting limbs. The trunk is divided in two, casting a wishbone-like shadow across my driveway.The sounds and smells around my thinking tree just made me happy. I can easily recall hearing the birds tweeting their coded song, the rustle of leaves, the swish of my stick through the air, the clump of my feet jumping from one root to another, the whisper of my voice, and the groan of lawn mowers and leaf blowers from other yards. During the winter months, when I had to wear two sweatshirts over a long-sleeve shirt to keep me warm, we would have fires in our living room all the time. When too much ash built up in the fireplace, Dad would always dump it in one spot next to my tree. To me, the burnt wood smell was captivating, and it oddly cleared my mind. One distinct smell from my thinking tree that I still recall today is the smell | 20 |'