On Climbing Trees

I recently read on one of my favorite blogs, Sensei and Sensibility (linked on the right), a post entitled Have you ever climbed a tree? The post leads us, of course, to a much deeper meaning concerning the importance of trees in our life as well as the importance of reforestation in which we can all take part. I have chosen, here, to look at the question in a literal way, just for the fun of it.

I have over the years climbed many a trees, would it be to hang a swing for the children or a hammock for the adults. To rescue the occasional cat (how cliché)! To pick up some apples or cherries that couldn’t be reached from the top of my stepladder. There are, however, two specific occasions that come to mind, one quite recent, the other belonging to a very, very distant past.

On July1 this year, during Canada Day’s celebrations, I walked up Mission Hill Rd. in Vernon, past the baseball diamonds to the far edge of the army camps. There I climbed up about eight feet into the crook of a tree, sitting above the wire fence with an unobstructed view of the fireworks. I sat there approximately half an hour watching the light show, shooting a few successful photographs. It made me feel young again!

Peace Tower Clock

The second event alluded to goes back to my early childhood. It has to do with a story my father always enjoyed telling and retelling. He and one of my uncles went hunting in the Gatineau Hills, most likely for hare or partridge. As  often happened, they lost site of the trail and did not know how to get out of the woods. “We’re lost”, said my uncle. My dad climbed a tree and soon broke into laughter. “We’re not lost” he replied, “I can see the clock on the Peace Tower” (many miles away, across the river in Ottawa). From there, having recovered their sense of direction, they easily found their way out. We children were always amazed with his story, and the power of his vision. Later in life he needed reading glasses but retained this extraordinary distance vision. It didn’t, however, prevent him from losing his way from time to time.