Recently while watching a TV show an actor exclaimed "I love trees, I love how they reach for the beautiful blue sky, I love how they sway in the wind, trees are special". These lines struck at my core, they made me stop, relax and think.....I too love trees.
I love all trees, I love to run my fingers along their bark and feel the varying textures. I love the sound the wind makes as it gently caresses their branches and leaves. I love the change of colours that come with the turn of seasons. I love all trees but most of all I love tall, old, wise trees. As I thought of the words the actor had just mentioned I knew that I too love the sight of a tall tree, stretching high into the sky with all of its magnificence, stretching, reaching and spreading its long branches and glorious leaves for all to see, share and enjoy.
I have loved trees since I was a kid, as a young girl one of my favourite things to do was to climb trees. During the time I lived with my aunty in Portland, Fawthrop Lagoon was right at the end of our street. All the neighbourhood kids could be found in this wonderful portal for escapism on a daily basis. Tree houses and fortifications were built and many hours were spent in our wonderful imaginary world, cossetted by beautiful, tall, safe trees, their long branches entwined with the soft whispery breeze cutting us off from the outside world.
At the entrance to Fawthrop Lagoon stood the tall, heavily foliaged and aptly nick-named Sentry Tree, this was our lookout tree. It didn't take me long to find out that if you climbed really high up into this tree, its thick foliage acted like a camouflage, hiding you from everyone. The trees glossy waxy leaves were perfect for cupping between your hands, puckering your lips together and letting rip with long high piercing whistles, that never failed to raise hysterical giggles as we tested them out on unsuspecting passers by. High up in the sentry tree was also the perfect place to spy on the intruders (adults) and let out the alarm whistle if one dared to enter our world of make believe. Quite often it was more a loud shout from the sentry tree that it was time to go home for tea as informed by whomevers mum or dad and come to the base of our world with the instructions.
A few years on from this I remember a time where once again I could be found climbing a tree. This time I had a partner in crime, my younger brother. We had recently moved to a new farm and true to form I spotted THE most magnificent tree that I could not wait to meet. One calm beautiful spring day I decided it was time to climb. This tree was a huge, sky reaching pine tree and I couldn't wait to get to the top. My brother went first and then I in behind to help encourage him onwards and upwards. Once in the middle close to the trunk (and in my mind back then the safest place to climb such a large tree) we commenced. The tree was prickly and had lots of small scratchy branches, the higher we climbed into the centre of the tree the darker it became. Finally the two of us broke through the darkness to the most amazing view. At the top of the tree the branches had naturally flattened into a canopy, the soft pine branches had come together to create one of natures most spectacular sunbeds. My brother and I spent ages up there, lazing in the sun, enjoying the gentle sway of this tall giant, surrounded by the blissful sweet sent of pine, relaxing and enjoying each others company. The climb down resulted in twice as many scratches, we came down to earth exhausted, hot and dusty, both smiling at each other, sharing a secret smile both knowing that time spent at the top of this special, tall giant had been spectacular.
As an adult I haven't climbed a tree in years, but smile and feel such a strong kindred spirit with my own two children every time they climb trees. I love sitting in my lounge room and looking out our front window as they climb the tree on our front nature strip. I sit and often wonder what secret world they have both entered as they sit up there in its branches talking away and enjoying each others company. I particularly love the happy little smiles that are always plastered on their faces when they both climb down, come inside and tell me what fun they have both have just had.