My Climbing Tree

Mary - Pleasant Grove, Utah
Entered on March 27, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Behind my house rests a large, long-unattended field. The grass there grows tall; towering up in the summer only to dry up in the fall and winter and grow again when spring returns. A row of cherry trees bear fruit in late spring, two giant apricots provide their fruit as the cherries run out. Of the apricot trees, one is small and has nearly been overtaken by thorn-bushes. The other is huge, with wide spreading branches that are low to the ground- perfect for climbing. The larger tree also has a jagged split down the center of its trunk and lies nearly sideways on the ground. This giant rip was caused by a lightning striking the tree some years back. Despite that, it continues to grow leaves and fruit every year. Like the apricot tree, I believe in not giving up when adversity is at its worse.

It wasn’t until 2004 that my ‘climbing tree’ was broken, and before that it stood a fair bit higher. Around five when I first really discovered the climbing tree, getting back out was always a terrifying experience. Often I would get stuck up there for hours until someone thought to come and rescue me. But eventually I persevered, fighting the fear of jumping out of those branches that an adult easily stood taller than, and managed to get out myself. Triumph number one, fighting fear. Had I given up, the climbing tree probably wouldn’t have been a home to so many adventures later- the empty wildness of that field was an opening for anything a child’s imagination could come up with.

The apricot tree may be only a plant, but it has taught many lessons in its own way. Some people talk to their cat when they are unhappy; I talk to my tree. In its timeless, determined way it can always turn my thoughts to something happier and life goes on. The lightning strike that split its center has been the tree’s best lesson though. One of my neighbor’s trees went through a similar experience and died from it. But my climbing tree was split totally down the middle, leaving inner-bark and roots exposed, knocked down with bits blown about the field, and yet still it grows. If a plant could talk, it would surely have a motto like, “there are a lot of lightning strikes in your life, this one is a little more devastating, but I don’t give up. People like my fruit.”

If I can make goals and not give up on them when they seem a little harder to fill out or people don’t believe in me, my life could be better. When I finally find triumph, just imagine how proud or surprised others will be! Possibly, I could inspire more people to try harder. I could have a life full of the fruits of triumph rather than being oppressed by defeats. This I believe: anything can persevere through trouble if they only try.