As young boys in search of the perfect branches to make our own homemade long bows, we had learned how to safely climb in various trees. One might ask, how do you learn how to safely climb trees? There could have been any number of ways to learn other than the method we used. If we had been a little smarter, we would have opted for those other ways. Instead, we found out the hard way. By falling out of them! It feels like my stupidity back then was training I may need in the event I ever have children of my own. I feel like I will not be able to let them out of my sight!
I remember nearly every tree in the neighborhood because we climbed them all. Well, all but one, the one we called the poison ivy tree. It was the only one that was off limits after one of us discovered its superpowers to resist us climbing it. Every other tree we attempted to climb to the extent that we could. We were never satisfied simply climbing part way up the tree. No one who set out to master Mount Everest desired to stop at base camp. The glory was found at the peak.
While we were not trying to master laws of physics, we found out quickly that small branches could not carry our weight. Many bumps and bruises were given out as prizes along the course of our learning. I remember one of the scariest times our friend was up high in a tall tree. I was walking on the ground to join him. I looked up and saw that he was facing the tree, with a leg straddled over each side of a branch. Suddenly, I heard the loud snap of the branch and watched gravity do its work. Fortunately for him, these branches were the flexible type that slowed his descent until he hit one last branch, larger in diameter, which stopped his fall. That was until he rolled over to one side and fell to the ground. He did not sustain too bad of injuries, as years later he had children. Although it took a while before he climbed back up in a tree again.
My brother had a nasty fall later on. He jumped up and ran home screaming in pain. One would think we would have learned our lesson from the times we fell, but of course not. By that time, our dad showed us how to build things. We found scraps of wood and ended up building a fort in the tree. Although our methods were crude, the fort we built managed to stay put. We did not want to harm the tree, so we chose not to nail into it and found other means to secure it.
It was my brother, friend, and I who did all this. I cannot remember how many hours we spent playing in our new fort in the tree. The tree was at the back of the yard, facing a large field. From our tree fort, we could see in all directions with a bird’s eye view of the neighborhood. It provided a whole new perspective on things. No longer were we kings of cardboard castles but kings of the sky.
Categories: Love People