Climbing Trees

By: Jesse Phillips
© 2004 Nov, 6

It was a very clear day, the light blue sky filled the absence of marshmallow clouds. My brother and I had been going in and out, running around outside and playing our Atari when we were in. Little did I know that this fine day I was going to accomplish a record setting feat.

I walked outside with my brother close behind. I looked out and saw our tallest tree in the middle of the green pasture, where we have horses graze. The cedar tree stood about a hundred feet tall. I began to run towards the tree, my brother still following. As I approached the enormous tree, it began to tower over me. I was ready to climb the tree which I had climbed many times before.

Most of our friends that came over to play, had a challenge getting started. My brother and I were use to this difficult task. The tree only has one branch that close enough from the ground for kids to reach. The branch starts approximately eight feet up the tree, then it cures downward for four feet, much like an arm cradling a baby. In order to start the climb you must balance yourself on the branch as it bounces and sways with every step.

I began my ascent. Grabbing a branch that hung off a larger one. Hoisting myself in a sitting position onto the branch as I always do. I tell my brother, who is still on the ground, that I am going up. He proceeds to climb the branch in the same way I had. I grabbed the next branch, bringing me back standing. It was time to continue.

I am familiar with this portion of the tree. Bending and folding my body around the branches, like a snakes slither. I increase my speed as I become use to the rhythm of the climb. I reach a spot where there is a lack of branches, I knew of this and was ready to switch my climb to go by a new beat. My brother was below me, somewhere, I didn't know, I didn't care, I was moving quickly, and was getting further up the tree than I ever had before!

"The trunk of this tree is getting smaller. I can almost put my hands around it," I yelled down to my brother as I hugged the tree, gWe should get a picture of how high I am.h He climbs down from where he was, and I watch the little ant slowly blurry green grass. As I wait, I look from the tree branches to the moldy, brown roof of our house. Not too far from the house was Wax Road with trees lining the edges. I could see neighborhoods that I had never been to. Everything looked small enough to take apart and put back into my Lego box. The squeak from the from the front door resonated in my ears, I knew my brother was on his way back.

"Jesse, where are you? Shake a branch so I can see."

I shook the branches around me and began moving some to make a clearing. Several of the branches snapped off. Once my brother could see me he got into position to take the picture. At the moment he had finished I was on my way up again. Higher and higher I climbed, the branches were not as strong as they were before. I had to slow down, for a wrong step could send me back down the tree.

I was on top of the world. I was also about 2 meters from the top of the tree. The trunk was now very thin, maybe half a foot in diameter; I've had smaller, but not this high up. When I had found a place to step and look at the view I could feel the tree rock me as though in a cradle. I had my brother take a picture of me one last time. It was time for me to go back down, I had achieved my goal.

The descent was slower then going up. This was not caused by fright but because our bodies are not designed for it. I also had to be careful where I step to avoid frail branches. When I reached a place where the branches were plentiful I could increase the speed of my descent. Once again bending and weaving, snapping more branches, sending them to their grave.

Once my feet were planted firmly on the ground, I began to run out from under the tree. I looked up at what I just recently conquered. My brother tried to explain to me where it was that I had reached.