Tuesday, February 27th, 2007...1:12 am
When was the last time you climbed a tree?
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I was walking past a park the other day and passed a tree that I guess would have been about three or four stories high. It was one of those trees with lots of thick branches and plenty of nooks and crannies. Perfect for climbing I thought at the time. And then something else popped into my head. When was the last time I had climbed a tree?
I couldn’t remember. The memory of my last climb was so old and faded I could really only estimate it must have been when I was in my mid teens, some 10 plus years ago.
When I was younger there was a tree down the street in front of my friends place that was perfect for climbing and thats what we used to do almost everyday. I remember it had this perfect round foothold about two or three feet from its base where a branch had been cut off and we used to use it to boost ourselves up to a spot where all the main branches met. We used to spend alot of time in that tree. We didn’t actually do very much in it apart from talk, and from time to time try to reach the very top, yet we kept on climbing almost every day after school.
Thinking back, at that age we probably climbed it simply because we thought it was fun, but looking back now I think it may be more than that. Even though you’re in a precarious position high above the ground, only one mistake away from serious injury, there is still a feeling of safety and comfort, like being above everything momentarily detaches you from it. I’m not sure how else to explain the feeling, but now that I’m older and the world is so much bigger and my problems so much more immediate, I want nothing more than to find the biggest tree and climb till I’m lost in a sea of green leaves.
Like alot of things in my life that tree is no longer there, and I’m no longer friends with the people I used to climb it with. I guess both were inevitable. People grow apart and trees outlive their usefullness, or in this case they obscure a view.
You can accuse me of being overly sentimental but those simple childhood pleasures are often lost when we become adults. Climbing trees is only one of them. When was the last time you rode a bike? When was the last time you put your ear against a seashell and heard the sea breeze? When was the last time you lay down on a clear night and tried to count the stars? When was the last time you sat down with a group of close friends and talked about anything other than work, or money, or family, or your partners?
We sacrificed a part of ourselves when we became adults. What did we get in return?
Anyway that’s enough from me today. I’m off to find a tree.