reception

Archived Story

Deep-rooted love affair

Published 10:04am Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I’ll bet you had one. Somewhere lurking in the recesses of your mind, somewhere tied to the memory of your youth, somewhere implanted within the boundaries of your heart, there was a special, unique, warm, inviting… tree.

Maybe it was in the backyard. Maybe in the front. Or down the street, around the corner. Whatever, it was a part of your childhood, no different than your room or pet or favorite blanket.

You knew this tree. How the bark felt. How the leaves exploded on it in the spring or parachuted down in the fall. How it rustled when the wind blew, or became utterly quiet after a snowfall. It became your tree. Part of you.

You never really recognized its growth, for small eyes seldom see such things. It was just always there; a permanent fixture in your life, something you could count on.

Climbing it was like hugging it, like fostering some type of intimacy, some form of connection. You grew to know just how that first limb felt and what it was like to sit there, secure and victorious.

You learned just how to climb up on it and what to expect. The climb up off the earth and onto that first limb was some rite of passage. It was risky and required some type of plan.

You didn’t know how things would appear form that perch. It was dangerous. Challenging. Treacherous. But worth the challenge.

It was as if you were the first to achieve such a goal, and the tree itself seemed to say, “Now, you are a part of me. Stay with me. Let us grow old together.”

Eventually, there was another, higher-up limb to climb, then another, until you could perch almost in the top and see what seemed like all the world.

That was your tree. Your vertical playground. Your place.

So you grownups out there leading such hectic lives and becoming way too busy, stop your car. Walk over to a tree once again, one with nice long branches. Climb that baby. Touch its bark. Rest on its limbs. Feel it sway beneath your feet.

And ask yourself, “Why did I ever grow up?”

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