I used to climb trees all the time. Like, all the time. Most of the summer when I was in elementary school, I’d be up in some tree a large part of the day.
All my friends climbed trees. Sometimes at night, we’d all just climb up in a tree and talk. There would be 5-10 kids sitting on different levels, just messing around and talking.
I knew all the trees in my neighborhood. I could get from the ground to the top in a flash.
I fell out of a few trees too. I started early, falling out of a huge Cottonwood tree in my front yard, when I was 6. I ruptured my spleen and had to have emergency surgery to have it removed. When I was 12, I fell out of the top of another tree in my yard. At old rope that we had a pulley on broke and I fell. I shattered my heel then and had to wear a cast for 3 months.
The biggest fall I had was one day when I was staying home from school when I was sick. I was probably 10. I went outside, when my mom was doing something else and climbed to the very top of a big Maple tree in our yard. I was above the top pitch of the roof of our house, which was two stories, then an attic.
The branches at the top of the tree are all small, mostly new. That means they aren’t very strong. A small branch broke under my foot and I didn’t have a good hold, so I fell. I knew I was jacked. I fell the whole height of the tree and, luckily for me, landed on my back on a big branch 10 feet from the ground. This pretty much stopped all my speed before I hit the ground.
I remember jumping up, scared my mom had seen me fall. I was amazed I didn’t break anything or get hurt. It was my biggest fall, but by pure luck, I was fine. It was probably a 40 foot fall.
I don’t see kids every climbing trees anymore. The last time I saw a kid in a tree was in Lake GeneavaGeneva, Wisconsin, probably 6 years ago. He was outside a Starbucks and looked just like I did when I was a kid. Sinewy, with ribs protruding everywhere. (Bromont would be a good tree climber if he was a human.) I don’t see many of those kids around much.
I don’t climb trees much either. I haven’t climbed a tree since I had shoulder surgery two years ago. It is amazing how different the planet looks from a tree. And how many different sounds you hear while sitting high upon a limb. You can hear the wind, not just feel it. Climbing trees is good for your mind. It is freeing, uplifting, plus connects you to nature.
As adults, most think that climbing trees is for kids. I think too many adults restrict their experiences because of imaginary lines they draw for themselves.
I think I need to rectify my absence of tree climbing. It will be good for my soul.