“Who’s up there?” The kid was halfway up the tree. It wasn’t a regular tree–it was a mammoth tree. An “if you fall you’ll be dead,” tree. A tree that went to God.

“Get down!”

That’s what they say to kids in the schoolyard tree. Too risky. Not allowed.  And every playground in the nation’s been retooled and regulated–all the “bad” stuff replaced with pillow-lined bars and fluff on the ground. No scraped knees. Safe!

But this kid…two and a half storeys up–nobody was yelling “Get down!” I inspected the tree from my spot by the fire. There were lots of branches to break his fall and three high-level nurses in the crowd. So… it’s okay?

Another kid jumped up. He didn’t climb that high, though.  A few branches up–not even close to death-level. Sprained ankle level at best.

Meanwhile, tree boy reached Tower of Babel-high. “Maybe he’s going to find God.”

“He loves to climb,” his mom said. She didn’t say “Get down!” either.

I should’ve sent him up further with my prayer.

He went a little bit higher. Then, he disappeared.

I looked to the top of the tree. No kid. Middle? No kid. No kid lying on the grass, and nobody screaming.

He was back on the earth, running around like kids do when parents are having adult time on the side.

 

Tree boy went up and down periodically. Because he was free. He could reach the sky.

And I wondered, “How high could I climb?”

 

But I never found out.

Because I didn’t try.

 

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