I climbed a tree today. To get a different perspective of the woods. The author Nan Shepherd would have known why. So I found a beech tree with low lying branches and started to climb.
I have forgotten, or rather my body has forgotten how to climb a tree easily or gracefully. It has been a long time and it’s difficult, and I feel scared. Scared I will fall, not so bothered by injury, but rather stupidity if I do. I have also forgotten the feel of the rough bark on my hands and the smell of lichen and moss on my fingers. I climb as high as I can, which to be fair is probably not that high but it feels high. Squally wind rocks the top of the tree as I sit with my back to the trunk and start a sketch of the branches ahead of me. All I can see really is a tanglewood of limbs reaching upwards and if I look down the forest floor tumbles down to the burn. I am caught in the space in between, neither one thing or another. I am suspended. A memory of sitting in a tree with my best friend smoking cigarettes, secretive, queasy, longing for adventure.We left the rest of the packet in a bole in the tree for another time. Sometime later it must have rained and we found them sodden, broken. My legs start to stiffen and decide it’s time to climb down. Near the bottom I hang from the lowest branch my legs kicking the air and jump to the ground. A small adventure and a different perspective of this landscape. At home I can still smell the tree on my skin.