How did I get so high in this tree? I don’t remember learning to walk much less learning to climb. Somewhere deep in my psyche I can see my parents helping me up onto the sixth and seventh branches and then the subsequent ones are blurred together.
Weird, this tree. In my mind I recall a base so narrow, and branches so short. A reverse pyramid of tooth picks trembling to support a sequoia. Perhaps my eyes couldn’t see wide enough then. I try to peek down to confirm the illustration of my thoughts. Eyes are too myopic now.
I look around the immediate proximity and am greeted with the familiar hues of bark. A little darker in spots posterior, but otherwise a rich brown thatch-work with an iridescent sheen of shades of burgundy when the sun shines. Raising my line of sight a bit more, I see this branch extends out further than I first thought. The branch above me, though, is tantalizingly close. I leap and my digits scrabble for a holding and instead shears bark shrapnel that peppers my head. The elevated branch displays no signs of aftershock from my efforts and continues its stout protruding without concern. Somehow the branch is even thicker than the one on which I stand. Or maybe I’m just weaker than I remember. Or maybe, no probably, my eyes misjudged. Damn these eyes.
Might as well venture out and see what this branch has to offer. I steal a quick glance behind at the dusky discolorations and trudge forward. The path is slow-going at first as I deftly maneuver through the twigs and sprigs that seem to have sprouted with the sole purpose of slowing my way. However, I begin to realize that most of these nuisances can simply be stepped on or over. I have found my branch to be much more pleasing when I don’t have to look down as much. Now if only I could remain resilient in not looking back.
I’d love to call my current branch a trail but it really isn’t. It’s simply one attached, overgrown stick with small, stymied derivations along the way. I can only trust that my lane is leading me in the right direction and have faith that when the time comes to transition I’ll be ready.