A tale of two trees

Any dummy can have fun on vacation. Seven weeks ago, that dummy was me.

Oh I was happy! Hiking through the subtropical bush in St. Croix, searching for the ruins of an old mill. I ended up finding it, which was great. But I also found a gorgeous kapok tree. So big! And perfectly smooth. The kapok is the hairless cat of trees.

Without hesitation, I threw down my pack and began to climb. Why? Because I was on a faraway adventure and when I'm in faraway adventure mode, I'm a man of uncontainable whimsy and joy. That's why.

Now fast forward seven weeks. I'm standing on my patio waiting for the grill to heat up. I've been thinking about doing something with the yard next spring which had me looking up into the trees. And son of a bitch! Standing not 20 feet from me is the perfect climbing tree: a finely crowned silver maple with limbs in all the right places. My kids have climbed this tree many times. And okay, I did once as well. But for the most part, I've been walking past this tree several times a day for the past decade.

Why? Because at home I'm not in faraway adventure mode. I'm in go-get-some-salt-for-the-water-softener mode. These are two distinctly different modes.

I'm planning to change that in the upcoming year though. Regardless of my GPS coordinates, I'm going to try to approach my days with a sense of play; a sense of adventure, scaled appropriately if need be. I realize everyone says this on their way back from every single vacation they've ever taken. Myself included.

But I'm not on my way back from a vacation today. I'm at home in regular-life mode. This morning I was looking out the window and thinking about the impossibility of another gloomy December day. I considered getting a few things done in the basement. Because obviously, it's not tree-climbing weather. 

I have to say, though, getting into the upper section of the tree was easier than I expected.

It's just getting up onto that first limb that's the tricky part.