About twenty-five years ago, Allan’s father had stood beside him under the big oak tree in the backyard. Old, used lumber, retrieved from an ancient, dilapidated shack in the back corner of the yard, lay at their feet. The oak spread its mighty branches above them.
“Where should we put your treehouse?” his dad asked. To Allan, his dad looked almost as tall as the tree. At the very least, he was tall enough to jump up and touch the lowest branches.
“Way up high. As high as we can get,” he said.
His dad leaned the ladder against the tree and told him, “Climb up. I’ll be right behind you.”
One rung at a time, Allan scaled the old wooden ladder. When he reached the top, his dad said, “Higher?”
Allan looked down toward the ground and was shocked to see how high he was. He leaned in and clung to the wood rungs for dear life.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
“There’s a great spot about ten feet higher.” His dad pointed to a place in the tree where the branches came together, then climbed up higher so that both of his arms surrounded Allan, protecting him.
“I don’t think that’s such a good place,” Allan said. “That one’s better.” He pointed to a V-shaped section below them where the branch divided into two, much closer to the ground. “We could lay the boards across those branches and add a rope ladder and some walls and a roof.”
“Why didn’t you choose that spot when we were on the ground?” his father asked.
“I just didn’t see it, Dad.”
“Sometimes, it’s important to see things from different perspectives, son, in order to discover all of our options. Only then do we know which is best.”
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