Tree HuggerThe sky was the color of dingy white socks. The fast moving air was cold and made my lungs gasp for a deeper drink. The heavy gusts teetered my balance and tossed the pines and willows like a sand salad. Mother Nature and I are stirred up and we have things to say, yet in all of our buffeted commotion and fearful ramblings, it appears no one is listening. Despite the lack of witness we boil, bubble, and try to settle. Me, facing her fury and she pushing and pulling mine, sending bits of herself towards me while I trudge right into her, head down and full of steam, entwined we tangle as friendly foes. Nature is my mother and I am her devoted student. I whimper a quiet thank you, that her mood today should match mine, that walking with her I feel in step with the is that is and that beside her I don’t feel so alone.
As if Nature was introducing me to a dear friend, a brazen gust pushed my body into a strong, tall pine. Jack Pine is the kind of pine that pretends not to seduce you while he actually is seducing you to immediately climb up and hold him tight. As a rule I usually only climb the pine in my own front yard. I am use to his rungs and ways but this sky topping pine swaying and shaking has aroused my sense of adventure.
The first few movements climbing him felt awkward and uncomfortable, yet thrilling. In no time, the climb became easier; he was the perfect tree to climb. Every rung placed just so. Every reach obliged. I felt safe. He felt sturdy. There comes a moment when climbing a tree that your desire is to go higher but your senses keep you put, it was at that moment that I stopped my climb and began to hold tightly to his trunk. Holding him felt as if he was holding me. As the violent huffs and puffs bent him back and forth, he creaked and groaned. I listened carefully to all his secret and intimate thoughts. As one, we met each gust and managed to remain intact. He stood tall and nervous, I clung tightly and full of hope.
It wasn't the strongest blow but the repeated blows that snapped the branch just beneath the one that held me. That snap changed everything, the moment, the feeling, the closeness the pine and I had just felt…gone. The broken branch clung briefly to another then crashed to the forest floor. I needed that branch to take me back down, down to the down that now looks so far down. Feeling foreign and forgotten to the pine I felt damn foolish to be up a tree without a Sherpa.
I tried to free myself gracefully but without help I could not. Acting on pure instinct, I forced myself to take a huge step, my footing was shaky at best, yet my peril seemed so familiar. As the gusts grew stronger and more frequent, I loosened my grip and forced my whole being to relax. Knowing that there was no way down but straight down I braced for the worst.
Leaving a hunk of hair tangled in jack and some skin on his bark I buckled myself against the wind and struggled to move the bounced, bruised body home. Like a nice friend, Nature had the wind at my back, which helped push this wounded tree climber (faller) in the proper direction.
Home, hooray for home! Turn on the heat under the kettle. Start the bath. Throw in some salts. Light a candle. Slide in disc of Bach and turn him up. Survey the damage. Skin on hands, rubbed red and raw, huge bloody scrape on upper tummy, sore fanny, bruised ego, bashed knee and my thumb hurts something awful.
I am too old for this ****.