On Climbing Trees

March 2, 2013
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“Climb all the way to the top with me!” he said to his younger sister one summer day so many years ago. She was timid the first time, sure, but after a few false starts and a cut on her knee (that entailed a kiss from Mommy and a Barbie band aid, she’ll proudly tell you), she got the hang of it and grew to love the feeling of the scratchy bark on her hands and the sound of the rustling leaves.
She climbed and climbed; never wanting to stop. She’d leaned back on the highest branch, and let the warm sun soak in.
She’ll tell you how to climb if you ask. She’ll explain how you've got to find a knot, or the tree’s “heart” as she used to call it, and use your hands to reach high, as if “to touch the most far away star” she’ll say, and grab a branch. From then, she’ll clarify its no longer climbing...its dancing...its step, push, reach, grab, step, push, reach, grab over and over until the world beneath you seems distant...where it is just you, the tree and the heavens.


“I wish…” she started one evening while seated in her favorite place in the world. Her brother looked over at her from the next branch. “…that we could stay here forever and ever.” She finished, gesturing wildly with her tiny arms. He nodded back as if saying "me too" with no words and returned his eyes back out to the slowly setting sun, the orange hue playing shadows on their faces. She cherished every moment up in those branches. So much that she often lost herself in time and was only brought back by her Mother’s voice, carried out over the breeze, telling them dinner was ready.

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