I spent a lot of time in trees when I was a child. By “a lot”, I mean approximately 90% of the time I was outside, I was climbing one of the four pecan trees in our yard.
This may conjure images of an idyllic childhood, but don’t be fooled.
I was and continue to be an accident waiting to happen – a saying I heard almost every day of my adolescent life.
Back to the trees –
Our particular pecan trees were PERFECT for climbing. There were some low hanging branches which served as just the right spots to get a foothold to climb into the tree. And, once there, the branches were spaced out exactly right to climb high, too high, into the top of the tree. Some trees have smaller branches in the tops which can keep you from climbing that high, but not these trees. These trees had solid, strong branches all the way to the top.
Which was great, until some of the branches at the tip top grew weak and started to die.
Combine that with my lack of attention and zest for climbing to the very top every time I was in the tree, and as I said before – accident waiting to happen.
So, one day, I stretch out my arm to grab the next branch near the top, put my foot on the branch below it to pull myself higher, and the branch I am standing on breaks.
I am falling.
And, I fall for a long time.
While I am falling, I learned four things NOT to do when you fall out of a tree.
1) Do NOT think you can morph into Elast-o man and wrap your legs around each branch you pass by on the way down. This does not work. I know because I tried to latch my legs onto each branch I passed on my long way down from the top of the tree to the ground.
2) Do NOT think you can slow down your fall by throwing your arms out to grasp at the twigs you pass. Again, this does not work. I cannot fly. This fact was solidified in my psyche as I plummeted to the ground.
3) Do NOT attempt to jump up as soon as you land on the ground, flat on your back, and yell to the neighbors, who have watched the whole event take place that you are “okay”. I definitely was NOT “okay”, as evidenced by the backs of my legs which looked like raw hamburger meat.
4) Do NOT sit on the vinyl seats of your mother’s car in the middle of summer in Texas with the backs of your legs turned into raw hamburger meat without putting a towel down first before you go back to the doctor’s office for yet another x-ray.
And, little bonus survival tip – when your family doctor tells you that it’s a wonder you don’t glow in the dark from all the x-rays you’ve had, it might be a good idea to be a bit more careful.photo credit: ~JENO~ via photo pin cc