One place understood helps us understand all places better.

Eudora Welty


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Climbin' Tree

This is about the tree I climbed as a boy. It was located in the tree covered lot between my house and the one next door, it was also near the dirt road to our house. There were too many trees to see much but I could see a car if it were passing by and at times (seasonally affected) I could see the front yard of our house. But I could hear much more, not only from my house and the neighbor's house but also the wind as it approached.

Listening to a rush of wind as it moves through a forest toward you can assure that there is more to this world than human intentions. It's a force you feel, not see and it's unstoppable, and when it reaches the tree you are in, and if the wind is strong and the tree starts to sway a bit, you realize you are just along for the ride, you make a choice, to catch your breath or turn away. I never turned away.

Not just 

any tree
Not just
the highest
or stoutest
or best shaped

But one
with a branch
low enough
and then
just above

So that
a climb
can start
with a pull-up
and then
a step up

a V-shaped
next step
from the
left branch
to the right

with seat
and footstool
offset just right
for a boy's height

And a trunk
still strong
that an arm
can wrap
and a boy
can sit and look out.