Friday, September 9, 2011

Climbing Old

It was so inviting. The tree.

Small and squat, yet its hefty trunk bespoke age. A pine of some sort; placed by The Universe through the hands of man. A park tree.

Stout branches reached almost to the ground, like stairs. Or thick rungs of a woody ladder.

I had to. Climb it.

I strode up to the tree, threw my arms around a shoulder-high branch, and lifted my foot to step up to the lowest limb.

But my foot just wouldn’t raise off the ground quite…high…enough. Who knows which muscle or joint betrayed me this time? The hip? The knee? The ankle? The toes?

The arms that couldn’t heft me up a few inches higher to compensate for my compromised lower appendages? The abs that refused to contract sufficiently to haul my butt and legs off the ground?

You have got to be kidding me. When did stepping up onto the branch of a tree that was practically lying on the ground taunting me become beyond my physical ability?

At that point, nothing short of the threat of six months in traction was going to keep me out of that tree. I grunted, strained, scraped and contorted. Finally, I stood in the crook of the lowest branch, my back jammed against the trunk, my fingers gripping the nearest handholds for dear life. Wishing I could savor the victory, but mostly feeling incredibly O.L.D.

And I knew that the simple action of dropping out of the tree was a compound fracture waiting to happen. I would have to holler for the husband to help me get down.

Indeed, I learned a lesson at Nature’s knee that day. But it was not the one for which I had gone looking.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps that should be O.L.D. Climbing... And believe me, I totally relate!