A tree for a friend

Girl climbing tree

As a child I did not so much play in trees, as live in trees. There was a big beech I climbed with my chums for a jolly social experience. Storm King was a huge maple with a comfortable branch where I could relax with a good book. The Lonely Pine was really tall; from its top I could not be seen by anyone but had a fab view. The whole tree would sway with the breeze, and I’d feel alone with the sky and the birds. That’s where I headed when I needed to be alone or had a problem to work through.

My older brothers had built a tree house in an oak which another girl and I acquired when they outgrew it. We hung bits of cloth at the windows, put old calendar pictures on the walls, brought up a snack and felt like queens!

My parents did not tolerate any bragging or showing off while tree-climbing, knowing that when children show off they do foolish things. But in general they supported our exploits. I took the same approach with my children. I agree with Henrik Ibsen who said: “There is always a certain risk to being alive and if you are more alive, there is more risk.”

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