Posts Tagged ‘Climbing trees’

Tree top

image by carulmare

When I was child, I slept in the attic – in a single bed underneath a wide skylight. I would lie on my back and stare up through the glass: watch the birds. When I was very young, I liked the small ones best – flitting, dancing, changing direction again and again, like they couldn’t quite make up their mind where they were going. As I got older I learned to love the seagulls, their eyes on the horizon, never afraid to voice their opinions.

When we were both little enough to lay side by side, my sister would join me on the bed. ‘They look down here and think we’re so tiny,’ she’d say, and I’d shake my head, because to me, our house could never be small.

This morning I took a ladder and laid it against the wall of Conifers at the bottom of my garden. Fifteen feet between me and the ground; the wind tugged at my legs like an insistent child. I was on a level with the birds. I could look down at the lawnmower and imagine it was a toy. I could see out across the town and realise how quickly it petered out into countryside. I could, for a moment, see how little it all mattered.

Inspired by Karen’s answer to the question: when was the last time you climbed a tree?, June 8th, 4.48pm,


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At the top of that tree, he could forget that, since Wednesday, half of the wardrobe in the front bedroom was empty, the car had gone, and the table felt lopsided come dinner-time.

At the top of that tree, with its view of the park and London spread out beneath him like a child’s model, he could start to imagine not feeling snapped in two.

At the top of that tree, holding his girlfriend’s hand and talking about school, TV, tomorrow, he could let himself imagine that the words ‘final’ and ‘never’ and ‘over’ might not always taste of salt and ash.

At the top of that tree, with its wide branches and easy footholds, he could look up at the sky through a dancing, shifting pattern of leaves, and let himself dream.

Inspired by Emma Hewett’s answer to the question: when was the last time you climbed a tree?, May 21st, 9.05am

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