When I was a young boy, I fancied myself as a climber.
From a young age, I was able to brace myself inside door frames, to climb up… Pull myself up onto buffet hutches… and of course, trees were my playground.
My mother often recounted… (although I have no memory of it,) …how frightened she and my Dad would often be, to go into my baby room, and find me climbing around the outside of my baby crib, hanging onto the bars.
It was a strange dichotomy… for although I do not care for heights, and in fact HATE ladders… climbing to the top of a tree holds no concern or fear for me.
In the places I’ve worked, it frequently drew comments from my co-workers, that I would spurn a ladder, and would prefer to climb the shelving itself, if I needed to “get something down.”
Need Cherries picked ? I’m your guy. I’m not the best picker… but I’ll get into the tree where it’s hard to go. (Of course, I eat more than goes in the bucket… but hey… you get what you pay for !!!)
So, I found myself today, in a situation where I wondered how a 47 year old, became trapped in the body of a 12 year old.
My wife had, for years, been speaking of having large spheres of woven Christmas lights, hung in the big Maple tree outside our front door.
This year, after years of discussion, we found a way to make them a reality !
We had also been lucky enough, after Christmas last year, to find some large plastic Ornaments, 9″ – 12″ in size, that would be a nice partner for the lit balls, and would provide some daytime colour, as the LED lights don’t show in daylight.
So, I climbed the tree, trailing a plastic chain, and my wife proceeded to hook on a succession of light strings, illuminated balls, and ornaments, which I pulled up, and suspended, throughout the canopy of the trees branches.
It all went well, and was looking FANTASTIC… until the wind started gusting, as I was at the top of the tree.
Again, I am a 47 year old man.
I have recently lost 30 pounds, and am getting close to my “target weight”.
I weigh a LOT more than I did when I was 12.
Picture if you will, a 175 pound man, in the upper branches of a tree, fighting sudden, but intense gusts of wind, and the top of the tree swaying like a sailor who has had too many tots of Christmas rum.
Suddenly, I was a cringing little boy, holding onto the slender branches with all my might.
The situation was made ever so much more delightful, by my loving wife, who, upon my exclamation of “Holy $%#&” when the first gusts hit… collapsed on the stairs in shrieks of laughter, as the top of the tree was bounced around by subsequent gales.
Her apologies for laughing, between fits of laughter, did little to convince me of her sincerity, or concern for my plight.
But, in that moment, although I was afraid… (and a tad peeved at my laughing wife) … I was exhilarated !
But, I guess that is why mountain climbers climb… why pilots soar… and why I climb trees, all these many years later.
One day, I may get TOO old to climb trees, but I think that day is a long way away…
Next year, the tree is going to look even MORE awesome !!!
Stay tuned !!!