Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Distance Between Branch and Ground

"Of course, there's the coming-down too.  Backwards."
And then he said:
"Which would be difficult . . ."
"Unless one fell . . ."
"When it would be . . ."
"EASY."
 - from In Which Tiggers Don't Climb Trees

*   *   *

At five years old, he's all skin and bones with straw-colored hair that sticks out in every direction.  In loose-fitting “crogs,” as we call them (Crocs to most others) he positions one foot in the crook of the Red Bud tree that stands on the slope of our small front lawn.  Reaching with wirey arms, he pulls and pushes himself up into the tree, then continues climbing, no longer the tentative four-year-old of last summer, but eager and confident as he explores the higher branches that until this year were his sister’s domain.

Once he reaches his roost, he stands there waiting.  Waiting for her to come home or for the neighbor boy to come out or a stranger to walk by, because, apparently it isn’t climbing if no one’s watching. 
I squat weeding the flower beds a good ten feet away, obeying his command to “Look, look!” and keeping a wary eye on the distance between boy and sidewalk.  Where he only sees height, I see the distance to the ground.   

*   *   *

It seems to me that the process of growing up has a lot to do with comprehending the distance between branch and ground and maybe, just maybe, the second half of life has to do with regaining the joy of ascent even while armed with the knowledge of the fall.


*This post was written for Five Minute Friday in which the rules are to simply write for five minutes on the prompt.  The body of this post was written in five minutes last Friday, but I needed to let it sit for awhile and I added the quote and final sentence today. 

9 comments:

  1. Hi, I linked up after you on five minute friday. What a heart warming read! I know I definitely could do with regaining some of that care-free spirit! :)

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  2. Kind of like running through mud puddles with out worrying about the "Splash".

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  3. GREAT post! thanks for sharing!

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  4. LOVE this one, Kelly. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Diana, I had to think of Richard Rohr's "Falling Upward" as I reflected on this.

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  5. Visiting from FMF. I love the last paragraph.

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  6. Also, hope you don't mind, but I posted your link on FB!

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    1. Thanks for sharing! and for stopping by. Five-minute-Friday has been really fun for me.

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