Life from up high: trees, bookcases and cubicle desks
I love to climb on things, always have. There’s something so freeing from seeing the world from up high. Even if it’s just a foot or two higher.
Have you tried it?
Climb up on a step ladder in your home and look around. Or better yet, find an excuse to get up on a cubicle desk at your office and look over the tops of the cubicles. There’s a whole new amazing world out there. It feels as if you are being lifted high above the rat maze so you can see the great expanse… of that rat maze.
Or lock yourself out of your home – accidentally on purpose – and climb over your garden fence. As you get up on that fence, pause and take a look around. I bet you have never seen your yard from that perspective. Of course you do not need to lock yourself out to do this, but hey, it gives you a valid excuse should your neighbors come asking why is it that you are sitting atop of your fence… third time this week…
I have always had a fascination with climbing.
When I was a child I shared a room with my brother. We slept on a bunk bed, I was on the top bunk, of course. In our room we also had a large wardrobe and three large bookcases filled with books and toys. By myself I was only able to climb up as high as the second shelf but when my parents’ friend Tim came over, I got to go all the way to the top.
Tim, was the tallest and strongest man I had ever met. He was a kid’s equivalent of a giant. He worked at some plant where they used a lot of cables and wiring. He would always bring me scraps of multi colored wires, making my brother extra happy because that meant I would not need to take apart his toy cars to get to the wires. (Colorful wires and stuff that went vroom and boom have always fascinated me too.)
First thing Tim would do when he came over was to come visit me in our room, pick me up and put me on the very top of the wardrobe. He would then patiently stand there protecting me as I happily looked around. Then he would take me down and go visit with my parents.
There was also this tree. It was located just outside our dacha (summer house) and it was perfect. It had a think trunk and low enough branches for a seven year old child to swing up onto.
I think it was an oak trees, which made it especially appealing for climbing because I would not be covered with sap like I would after climbing an evergreen. I used to stuff my pockets with cookies, climb up as high as I could, find a comfortable perch and eat the cookies. Then I would climb down, get more cookies and repeat the process.
My parents were not bothered by my love of climbing, in fact, I think they were happy that I knew how to keep myself busy without bothering them. My dad did nail all our bookcases to the wall though.
My grandmother on the other hand, was the biggest worry wart alive. In her mind, whatever possibly and impossibly could go wrong, will go wrong.
Fearing for my imminent maiming and subsequent death, grandma decided to talk me out of climbing by telling me that girls should not climb things.
I dutifully nodded and ignored her until I was about eleven year sold. Then some switch went off in my head and I BELIEVED her that girls should not climb, subsequently putting my climbing career on pause.
After a four year hiatus my love of climbing was reignited when one of my guy friends taught me how to climb a concrete telephone pole! Since then, there was no stopping me.
Once I started working in an office I discovered the whole “looking over the cubicle wall” phenomenon, which kept me entertained for almost two decades.
Last year, my fitness coach taught me the ultimate mother load – how to climb a rope. My hands hurt, my legs were red with rope burns and I was thrilled.
These days my ascent of choice is mountains. Every Sunday my friends and I scale a local mountain. Yes, it is hot, dusty and strenuous. But nothing can beat the view from the top and the feeling I get from seeing life from a different perspective. Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu are definitely on my to do list. So stay tuned from reports from Africa, Peru and other places.
For now, follow me and my weekly ascents on Facebook.
Until next time!
May your days be joyful, your nights restful and may you see life from many different perspectives.
P.S. A sad thought: so many of us loose that playful, carefree and fearless child of long ago. We become bogged down with life’s responsibilities. We turn into care takers of others. We go to work, pay the bills, cook, clean… And we forget what it feels like to be that free, goofy kid who has the time to climb up on the kitchen counter and stay there.
My belief is that if I am old enough to drive a car, earn a living and stay out of jail, then I am definitely old enough to decide what makes me happy. And this I say to you: go ahead, visit a rain forest, ride a choo-choo train, climb that tree, scale that mountain, sit on the roof of your car. Just be sure to stay safe and please try to not get arrested.