Natalie challenged me to climb a tree at sunrise. I had lost myself. She knows it, and deep down I do too, but I find myself, renew, rejuvenate myself in the trees. In the branches, in the trails. I had to go alone.
I drove in silence. It felt necessary. As a result I began to sing. This is the playful creation from stillness and silence that I crave. It’s easy and easy to create.
At the tennis courts in Cherokee Park, I walked in the last moments of darkness with my coffee. I headed to a collection of three trees I had climbed years ago around this time of year. I set my coffee down and approached the smallest of the three. A maple.
That first touch and grab of the branch, I felt my weakness. It had been too long! Once I curled my feet up into the branches it felt natural. I was thrusted into focus and steadily moved up and through.
At the top of the maple the poplar nearby has a sturdy branch lending its hand. I straddled it and slid backward toward the poplar trunk.
Fear! There it was. True fear. I hadn’t felt this for so long. I kept reminding myself that I’ve done this before. My plan was to breathe, and then commit.
I carefully stood up, climbed onto the next huge limb, straddled it and stopped. My fear had won. This was my stopping point. I know I have been all the way to the top, some 20-30 feet higher, but this was just day 1 … of many more. I have time to rebuild strength and courage.
I sat and took in the view. I was just minutes from sunrise. It was as if the lights just slowly turned on, but the clouds prevented a view of the sun. I snapped some pics and wondered if the people in the cars going by could see me.
I texted my brother a happy birthday and sat a few beats longer. I decided it was time to climb down.
Back to the previous transfer limb, I sat straddled and terrified. I attempted to move forward but slid back to the trunk. I accepted the precariousness, looked down and knew there was no other way. Two inchworm crawls and I was able to grab the maple limb for support. Easy! Comfortable. Home.
I climbed down and took a different branch out. My arms were weak, core as well, and I had to drop before I was ready. The soft ground accepted me.
So simple to find my bliss. So long I have ignored it.