Ascending the Canopy

Hannah - Cypress, Texas
Entered on November 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in climbing trees. I am an enthusiastic tree climber, and I often search for hours or days for the perfect tree that will guarantee the highest, most exciting climb possible. I climb to relive worry-free childhood days, to be a few feet closer to the heavens and that much farther from the world, to momentarily escape my own greed and temptations, and, mostly, to feel happy.

The best time to climb a tree is in the early morning, just before dawn. I find a sturdy branch that is fairly high up, and get settled in to watch the sunrise. With a mixture of adrenaline and happiness coursing through my veins from my ascent, I see the sunrise as its own miracle, and my outlook for the arduous day ahead reflects the intense brightness emerging from that sphere of light. From the tree’s vantage point, my selfish perspective is transformed to one of gratitude for the existence of nature and appreciation for a world that does not revolve around me.

When I climb a tree, I am disconnected from the man-made, modern world, and I become one with God’s nature. At the peak of my climb, I feel as if I am a little bit closer to primitive existence and can thus experience raw happiness with no materialistic obstructions. Climbing trees leaves me thinking in the present, where past mistakes and future questions do not hinder my thoughts. It is in this present tense that I am completely happy.

I believe that all people, if physically able, can experience the happiness brought on by climbing a tree. Climbers do not have to be extremely athletic or be able to scale the highest branch in order to get the whole tree-climbing effect. Also, it is not beneath anyone’s dignity to climb a tree, whether that person is a distinguished scholar or a rambunctious child. In my opinion, there is only one requirement for tree climbing: the climber must climb the tree because he honestly wants to. A person will only gain happiness and perspective from a climb if he actually desires to climb the tree, for if he does not, the climb will have no emotional impact at all.

I believe that climbing trees instills a total, primitive happiness in the climber, as I have experienced in myself. Every person in the world should climb a tree, and I pity those who have not yet done so, for tree climbing is a strong catalyst for personal felicity. If you have never climbed a tree, I urge you to do so as soon as you can. Life is transient and the number trees of quietly dwindling, so get outside, find your tree, and climb.