The Tree House at Rolling Hills

Editor’s Note: The Tree House at Rolling Hills is a condo complex in Lenox where the author goes to write every winter. The condo’s owners call it their tree house because it’s on the second floor, and the sliding glass doors face the woods.

by Betsy Smith

They have filled it with treasures and art

Orange paisley walls; faded oriental rugs of reds and browns

Candles in fancy silver and brass vintage candlesticks lined up like soldiers – with collars that will never catch dripping wax

A coveted baby grand from a past life wedged in a corner; yellowed sheet music propped in place; venerable metronome sitting “as is” whispering imagined beats of time

Knick-knacks thoughtfully arranged on little wooden tables

Paintings of familiar places and parts unknown:

Hunting dogs on one side, and odd little Macaroni men posed on the other

Pen and ink of ancient cities and structures; pastel seasons of China from a trip meant to heal

Colorful posters of past events at special venues

Leonard Bernstein

A mirror strategically placed facing a glass door; trees visible inside and out

The reflection as if a painting that constantly changes with the days and nights

This is their tree house; their summer home left behind

The leaves fall from the trees, and the cold seeps in

A writer comes to hibernate in the dark of winter

Quietly making art of her own.


Betsy Smith is a retired insurance professional finally able to pursue her dream of writing. She did not attend college, so everything she participates in is a new and exciting learning experience. Her first essay about one episode in her journey as the mother of an alcoholic son was recently published by Refinery29.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *