Joy; Or, Swinging from Branches

Of all the reasons I climb the tree, it would be easy for one to get lost in the shuffle.  I climb, I write, I think, I photograph; I lose myself in the tree, the hills, the meadow, the sky; I embrace the adventure of climbing at night or in difficult weather; I try to listen to the world, to the different registers of meaning it and tree and climbing and I can offer me.

In all this, it is easy to lose sight of one of the fundamental reasons I climb: for the sheer joy of it.  There is a primal and childlike pleasure in swinging from branches and clambering around in a tree.  It would not be hard to be dismissive of this because it is so simple a pleasure; and it is not as easy to convey as the glory of light streaming through golden leaves in fall, or the adrenaline hit that must be involved in climbing a tree encased in ice.  There is even something a little goofy about it, a little bit silly.  Maybe even a little lunatic.  But it is one of the underpinnings of the experience; and it makes me happy.  We should all get to be kids again once in a while.  Enjoy a brief return to that innocence.