Below is my narrative of a fun and risky adventure my brother and I took together that will always stand out to me as one of my most interesting and memorable experiences.
My family lives out in the country near a river and riparian forest. My siblings and I like to go down there and explore. One Saturday early last fall, my brother Daniel, who is two years my junior, and I went down to the woods. We were looking for a particularly large sycamore tree we had spotted the last time we’d been exploring. We found it quickly enough. Climbing the tree to a very low point where it branched out into two hefty limbs we sat there for a while admiring the tree’s size and commenting on its loft heights.
After talking so much about how scary it would be to climb any higher I was frankly shocked when Daniel announced to me that he was going to climb even higher. The branch he proposed to climb up to was not too terribly high but to make the ascent would be quite tricky as there were only knobs to grasp onto or to stand on. However, there was no dissuading him. He made it up there safely enough, though the concentration in his face as he climbed frightened me.
Of course, once he was that far he couldn’t just stop. He proposed to go even higher. Observing the new branch he wanted to conquer I saw the ascent looked even more difficult than the last. Up he went though. Well I couldn’t just sit down at the bottom, now that my younger brother had mastered the sycamore bough. Yes I did. I climbed up to the first branch. Locking my eyes on the goal, I did not look to the right or to the left as I scaled the limb. Then I had to sit and watch as my brother scaled the tree to what seemed an impossible height. He talked enough about how dangerous it was that it was a wonder I decided to follow him a few minutes after he reached the deathly height. He told me not to; he in fact went so far as to tell me that I would probably fall and die if I tried. Nevertheless, I did it. It was dangerous. Reaching what I liked to call “the top” I looked down. Now I am not normally afraid of heights, especially if I know I am in a secure place, and when I was younger I used to climb trees that were fairly high. However, when I looked down from “the top” I realized I had just blown all of my childhood memories to bits. I wasn’t in the most secure spot and I must have been about forty feet up. We sat there for a while, trying not to look down. Every once and awhile, though, we would chance a look down and feel a wave of excitement slide over us.
Eventually I asked Daniel, since he was in the most prominent position to go down first, if he was ready to go down. He said he was. A few minutes later I asked again. He insisted he was ready. Finally I asked him if he was afraid to go down. He went down. I followed close behind him. It was much more difficult going down than coming up. I couldn’t see my footholds at all. When Daniel and I had safely departed from the trees leafy heights we looked at each other like “That was the coolest experience ever!” And it was.
Lois Johnson, avid writer, tea drinker, and reader but first and foremost, avid Christian.