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Free Falling

I jumped up and grabbed the first branch. Holding onto the branch, I climbed up the trunk so I could lift myself onto the branch above. My first step completed, I sat on the lowest branch. I smiled. I could not wait to show my family what I could do.
Bringing my legs up, I grabbed the trunk of the tree so I could stand on the first branch to reach the next one. I had done this millions of times before. It was like stairs; one step after another. The steps were repetitive, diagonal to the right, two back, zigzag, and diagonal to the right again, two back, and then three steps to the top. I was almost to the top, only one step back and three steps up. I could feel the sunlight on my face, shining through the top of the tree. I could feel the warm papery softness of the bark on my hands and the sturdiness of the branch under my feet. Trusting every branch, I hoisted myself up higher and higher. Then, I heard my life flash before my eyes.

One minute I was safely standing on a tree branch, the next I was falling. As I went to grab the next branch, I pushed off the branch I was standing on. The second all my weight was off the bottom branch, the top branch was holding me, but it was not strong enough. The branch snapped, the floor literally falling our from under me. In my fear, it felt like time lapsed, folding in upon itself. I do not remember the fall I do not remember if I tried to catch myself by grabbing onto the branches. I do not remember pain until I stopped falling. Eventually, time flowed back to normal. I was not falling anymore. I was not on the ground either. I was stuck between two branches, with my feet dangling about two feet above the ground. My legs and arms were all scratched up, my stomach was doing flips, and my head ached. I was scared. I heard my dad running towards me, my family following closely behind him.

They arrived breathlessly to help me, I was not sure what to do. I was in shock. My heart beat was all I could hear, beating a mile a minute, racing at an uncontrollable speed. I was sure it was not going to slow down. As they helped me out of the tree, my dad started asking me questions. Erecting a platform with their hands, I pushed up, so I could be free of the branches I was stuck between. Again, I hoisted myself up on the branches that caught me, I remembered the other branches of the tree, the branches I trusted, and the branch at the top of the tree that broke. I now understood that just like the branches, not all decisions would lead me down a safe path.
After I was out of the tree, I was taken into the house. My dad checked to see if I hit my head or broke any bones. Luckily, there were no visible signs of trauma. I had scratches all over, which were cleaned and covered with bandages. It is amazing how much better you feel when you are eight years old and everyone is taking care of you, making sure you are okay.
Looking at the tree, I see it as a metaphor for life; every branch being a different part or person. The branch that broke is a hard time in life, or someone who you can not trust. The branches that caught me are the people that are always there to support you, the ones who love you and make sure you are okay. The tree all together represents life, or every situation. When it comes to life, you must take charge of your own.
The next week, I attempted to climb the tree again. This time, I made it.





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writerscramp said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 11:46 am
Wow. I felt a wide range of emotions: awed, shocked, scared, relieved, and that "i see" moment. that is really good. i like your analogy!
 
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