Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Solace of Trees

The tree was impossible. It stood boldly beside the playground with parents milling about nearby. Fathers on their cell phones paced the cement path that curved around the massive roots. It was a public tree. Impossilbe as well was the lowest branch which was much too high. This was an old tree with a trunk so wide it would take three adults to encircle it. These were the trees that were the bane of her childhood. Trees that could not be climbed but which taunted you with thier wide berths high up from the ground. These were the trees that only the strongest could scale by wrapping their legs about the trunk, and shimming up. Or if you were lucky you could persuade a parnet to nail flat slatted wood boards into the massive trunks.

She watched the tree with a kind of weary speculation. She wanted up that tree with a kind of passion she thought she no longer possessed. It had been a long time since she had climbed a tree. Climbing trees with a paperback tucked into one pocket, and an apple in the other. She would climb so high that she became lost in leafy canopys. Sometimes she would actually read but mostly she would watch people below or day dream. Reading in a tree was a dangerous occupation for someone dreamy like her. She had fallen a couple of times because she was so wrapped up in her book she forgot to hold on, and shifted. Luckily she hadn't been too far up for those tumbles but they still hurt and they were scary as hell. Today she wanted to conquer that tree. She wanted to climb to the highest branch and just stare out over the city.

There was a soothing solace to climbing trees. To be lifted up and way from the ordinary towards the sky was an extraordinary experience. There were days when mundane life threatened all promises of magic. And on those days she longed to force time back to those days of childhood when belief seemed much easier--when magic had only to be taken. She felt that if she could climb that tree she could reclaim magic. She could push back the gray ordinariness of her sad life.


Horacio said...

beautiful post... by the time i ended reading i felt i had reached the top of the tree.

The Bear Maiden said...

I had a tree--my tree--when I lived in Jamaica. It was a hogplum tree. I would climb WAYY to the top with a book and some snacks and stay there a long time. Looking down on people, looking up at the sky.

Thanks for that memory :I)