Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Climb to the Top

There's something thrilling about climbing trees. As a kid I couldn't get enough of swinging from the middle branches of a mulberry trees that was growing in the yard. Actually it was growing right over the asphalt communal parking lot, which proved to be an important and dangerous distinction once the mulberry decided to retaliate and slip away from underneath my feet just as I was lowering myself down from a rather tall branch. I'll save you the long story but the end of it was that the house committee decided to cut most of the branches to save other kids from similar fate, but really it was because the bats, who really liked the ripe fruit, were wreaking havoc at night all over everyone's windshields... Poor mulberry. These days, many years later, I can still see rebellious shoots growing here and there from a rather dead looking stump, every time I visit my parents' place. And that's as exciting as it gets.

Robert Macfarlane of The Guardian has much more to offer when it comes to tree climbing. In this beautifully written review piece, he lists several classics written about tree climbing and then goes on to describe a few recent additions to tree climbing literature genre. Yes, he claims it exists, with Italo Calvino as its main trunk. He also tells about his own adventures and distinctions exploring various trees from the special perspective of someone who climbs them regularly. Recommended!

So next time I'm out about exploring the woods I think I'm going to find an easy spot and let the inner boy reawaken... or is it the inner monkey? I can never tell them apart anyway :-)

Eylon @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read!