To Gain New Perspective, Climb A Tree

May 27, 2008
By Carly Kohake, Cincinnati, OH

When I was little my mother used to make me climb trees. She was really horrible about it too. Always Carly, go outside and climb a tree. Leave me alone. I didn't understand why until I met my future husband in a tree. I was really upset one day, so I ran outside and climbed the largest tree I could find. Well, that was a mistake because I kept on going and going and going up to the top of the tree. When I reached the top I couldn't get down. And to this day I till thank God for cell phones. I called the fire department and they came to help me get down.

No, my future husband is not a firefighter. That'd be a way too cutesy-cutesy story about how we met. No it was much more... Ironic? Cheesy? You decide. So I get out of the tree and I swear a week later I could not get the idea out of my head that a tree had bested me. I went outside in my best tree-conquering outfit and climbed the same tree I'd been rescued from. Climbing higher and higher, branch-by-branch, I was getting cocky. I went even farther than I had the last time. Little new news here, I got stuck, again. I refused to call the fire department again. I had gotten a particularly long-winded lecture from one of the saggiest old men I have ever seen.

There I am, stuck in a tree, refusing my cell phones help. Then I saw him. My night in grass-stained jeans. Walking down the street with a book under his arm. I picked a handful of acorns and started throwing them at my target. It was really windy that day so he couldn't hear me calling for him, at first. Plus, my acorns were going everywhere except at my target. I picked another two handfuls and waited. He walked under the tree and I let them fall. God was on my side, because the wind stopped and the acorns flew straight, and he heard me calling him. He looked up in surprise at my call and was pelted with acorns, which, if you ask me, is more surprising a development than hearing someone call for your attention.

After laughing hysterically and apologizing profusely, I asked him for his help. He was as stubborn as I am, and teased me relentlessly. He put down his book and hat and did a little stretching, which I snickered at. He then proceeded to jump up, grab the tree limb, and swing himself effortlessly up the tree. It was then I noticed his muscles straining under his flimsy t-shirt. Da Vinci would have asked him to pose for a drawing or fifty. The whole time he was climbing, he was laughing, and teasing me. I can't blame him; I would have done the same thing.

As he got closer, I started to see his features more clearly. His shaggy black hair was blowing in the wind; his lips were curled into a half smile. His piercing ice water blue eyes were locked on the branches and kept glancing at my dull green-blue eyes. His skin was olive and his nose was slightly large, but in a masculine way. He stopped for a break at that point; I think to taunt me some more because he wasn't out of breath at all. He sat on a branch and started swinging his legs. He leaned up against the tree trunk and fake yawned and stretched, like he was going to nap. He then turned his full glory towards me. He turned his head upward and smiled at me the most dazzling smile I have ever seen, with one eyebrow arched as if to say, "I'm enjoying myself, at your expense." His movie star teeth and brawny man eyebrows made my heart melt, but not my face. I returned his look. I half smiled down at him and arched my eyebrow back. Screaming in my head, "Two can play that game!"

"So are you going to sit there all day? Or are you going to come get me and help me down?"

"I don't know. I was weighing my options."

"Oh really? And those are..."

"My first one is to leave you up here to torture some other unsuspecting fool."

"And the other?"

"To have you jump into my arms and climb down with me."

"HAH! And why would I jump into your arms when you could help me safely to the ground?"

"Because I can't climb any further."

"So let me get this straight. You came all the way up here to tell me you can't help me?"

"No I can help you. You're just going to have to trust me and jump from that branch right there to me."

"You're insane, you know that? Why would I jump into someone I just met arms that I'm supposed to trust, when I'm this high up in a tree?"

"Why would you climb this tree just to get stuck in the first place?"

"I didn’t climb in to get stuck! ...It was challenging me."

"And I'm the insane one? Last time I checked, you got challenged by a tree, then got stuck in it."

"Whatever, I still can't trust you."
"You ask me for help, and I climb all the way up here for you to tell me you don't trust me."
"Yeah, well, I didn't think you'd expect me to jump into your arms fifty feet from the ground."
"Well I didn't expect to find that you were a better climber than I was."
I was silent then, as was he, then I regained my composure.
"What did you just say?" I asked, trying to hide the smile in my voice.

"Don't let it go to your head. You're just smaller and can fit through those branches right there. Other than that you're pointless at climbing." He sighed with a snarl.

I studied the situation. "Say I do jump. Then how the hell are you going to catch me without falling over and letting gravity take us to our death."
"That's where trust comes in."

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph." I sighed as I started to move.

"And she's suddenly religious. Interesting."

"Fascinating! Ever more intriguing when I get closer to the Earths core!" I sarcastically shot at him.

"I can't wait actually." He said sincerely.
That's what threw me off balance. Not my lack of balance or lack of skill. It's easy to infer that I slipped and fell and luckily he caught me. What was unlucky though, is that fact that when still ended up having to call the fire department to come and rescue us from that tree.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Swoon Reads

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!