I watched you the other day, sitting high up in a tree, watching the world go by. Actually, high up in a tree isn’t an unusual place to find my daughters when there is a tree around. I watched you scamper down again, skirts billowing, underwear flashing to the world, newly ripped tights revealing a red patch of scratched skin you didn’t even notice.
I need to tell you something about girls who climb trees:
Actually, there isn’t a quote I know of about girls who climb trees. There’s something about girls who sit on tables – apparently they don’t find husbands, or so we were told, growing up.
But there’s nothing about girls who climb trees, because girls aren’t supposed to be interested in that.
So let me tell you a few things about girls who climb trees:
(Yes, girls can possibly be substituted for boys too, and no, probably doesn’t apply to every girl, but I’m really thinking about my girls as I write this, so the generalisation of ‘girls’ will do!)
Girls who climb trees have the best views
Yep, you’re high up in that tree, and I can hear you singing to yourself with the blissful content of someone who is exactly where she is supposed to be. From up in the high branches you can see the whole world – or it feels like it. Because up in the tree, you can take a break from the noise, you can breathe the fresher air, you can take a moment to think. Up there vision is clearer. Girls who climb trees can see things clearer, because they can see farther, because they rise above everything else, take a moment and take a breath.
Girls who climb trees know their limits
Girls who climb trees know what happens when you put your foot in the wrong place. They know what happens when you stand on shaky ‘ground’. They know what it feels like when the wind blows and the unsteadiness reaches to your core. These are girls who know how far they can go before they no longer feel safe. These are girls who learn to listen to the most powerful sense a woman has access to: her instinct, her intuition.
Girls who climb trees take risks
These aren’t girls who will sit back and wait for prince charming to lead them off into the sunset. No, girls who climb trees might one day climb on a plane and set off for new worlds. Or whatever the future’s equivalent of new worlds might be. These are the girls who will set trends, who will lead the way, who will be the leaders , not the followers. These are the girls who give the rest of us hope for future generations. The girls who know their limits and take calculated and measured risks. Who break boundaries and records and take the rest of us forward.
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Girls who climb trees are fierce
It takes guts to climb a tree. You have to conquer a fear of falling, and more, of landing. You have to know that you must get yourself down again. You must know that you could be in danger. Girls who climb trees might get stuck, but they do it anyway. They take chances, they take risks, and they learn their limits. Girls who know their limits, know themselves and their capabilities, and those girls don’t believe there’s anything they can’t do merely by virtue of being girls, and a girl who knows that, is a fierce and powerful force.
Girls who climb trees aren’t afraid of the unknown
Girls who’ve climbed to the top of trees see the squirrels. They see the birds, they see spiders and other tree-bugs, and they aren’t afraid of them – or even afraid, they go on despite it. They don’t stop climbing trees because of what’s already in them. They respect the natural inhabitants of the space, and find a way to co-exist, knowing themselves visitors, respectful and relishing the chance they have to be there. They learn respect and compassion for those creatures smaller than them, and become protectors of them.
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Girls who climb trees have mothers who pray
I’ve more than once had someone tell me that one daughter or another was too high up in a tree (for that person’s comfort level). Of course I go, and I look, and I stand under the tree with my heart in my throat, while my head works out every possible fall trajectory and I try to calculate if I could get into all areas of the fall-zone fast enough, while working hard on keeping my face as impassive as possible. It may not matter what you believe or who you pray to, but girls high up in trees likely have mothers who call on Higher Forces frequently, covering them in angel wings and good thoughts. I normally hug my girls tightly when they’ve come down from a tree. They think it’s because I think them brave as their chests swell with self-pride. Really it’s because I’m glad they’re still alive.
If a girl climbs a tree, there’s nothing she can’t do
I never climbed trees. There were trees, I just didn’t like the thought of falling out of them. There are so many things in my life I didn’t do because I was afraid of it not working out. I know that. I recognise it. I wasn’t a girl who climbed trees. But my girls are, and I’ll never tell them they can’t. Because they can. Because I’ve seen them at the very top of trees. Whatever else they may be in life, where ever else they may go, whatever else they may become, and wherever they may lead:
These are girls who climbed trees.