Monday, February 12, 2007

Fear of Falling

Imagine a world where there are no video games, no electronic gadgetry to keep you inside the house. Oh sure there was T.V., but there was no MTV, no Comedy Central, no HBO, no "Tivo to go". We watched t.v., later when we came back inside the house from a full day of braving the elements and using our real, raw imaginations.

Growing up, I lived on music, love and relied heavily on fantasy to create the world that was mine... I can't think of a better paradise really. Although, others in my family don't quite remember it as magical as I do, but that's o.k. too.

During the summers, or any time we were able really my nieces, Kristie and Stacey (barely just my juniors by a couple of years as you may recall) spent our time at either their house, just 30 minutes north, or at my house out in the middle of 10 whole acres... an entire universe for a kid. Their house was in a subdivision just 30 minutes north of mine, just beneath Memphis, TN, so you can imagine this felt like 'city' to me. We had many fond memories no matter where we spent our time.

When they got to come and spend weekends or entire weeks at my house during the summer, we always found something to do. Once we took all of the ties that held the bails of hay together apart pulling them all off the hay, which later flattened... We then took the ties and tied them all together laying them along my very lengthy driveway. In our minds, we were piecing together "The Longest Rope In The World"... later we were reprimanded for destroying the hay bails.

There was a tree in the back yard where we spent many hours dreaming the day away, and even me by myself when there was nobody else around. It was a nice, sturdy tree--beautiful in color with strong, regal branches. The lowest branch was still too far up for me to climb so we found a big barrel, and put that next to the tree, and we put a 'milk carton' next to the barrel as a system of steps. How we loved that tree... we'd climb up as high as we could, and we felt like we were atop the world, and hidden. We'd sit and talk for hours, make believe and laugh... the things all kids (girls) probably do.

One particular day, we were climbing along in our little tree paradise, each sitting on our designated branch and a huge line of strange bugs were making their way the trunk of our beloved tree. They were unidentifiable by us at the time, but they were freakish looking and in perfect formation like an army. Downward they marched on our special turf as if claiming it as their very own. None of us being very fond of insects, we all screamed and frantically shot out of the tree like lightening. I think I was more afraid of insects (namely Wasps, Hornets or anything with a stinger) than Stacey or Kristie, but we equally agreed when we sorrowfully made the decision to "bug out" and desert our favored hang-out, this picturesque tree that we'd come to know as our friend.

"I'm not going back into 'Bug Track Trail' I don't know about y'all."

"We can't go climb it-the bugs are up there, I know they're still there!" one of us announced.

The name stuck and from then on, we referred to the tree as "Bug Track Trail" and indeed, we never climbed it again.

Lonely, It still sits in Mom's back yard, waiting for its favorite children to return home... but they never come.

Day in and day out, its branches stretched out to welcome us home, come rain come sunshine it is there remembering us fondly, as it smiles on those good old days... The bugs? Well, they continued on to reach their destination and never crossed bug track trail again. Time flew on, wasted by us, our unfounded fears thinking we couldn't climb, because there was something scary up there (we were convinced)... So we've forgotten how it feels to rest atop its soothing branches and look down and see the progress, and observe just how far we were capable of climbing.

But wait, as long as nobody has burned to the ground or chopped it away, as long as it remains... It's never too late to return to Bug Track Trail, why not today? We could climb on and on.

Let's go and play!


captain corky said...

"Imagine a world where there are no video games, no electronic gadgetry to keep you inside the house".

I was born in 1970 but for the life of me I can't remember what a tree is.

Your post was sweet and it's never to late to go outside and play. I plan on going camping a lot when the little one arrives.

RockDog said...

Sounds a lot like my childhood. We played outside every day and had to be home when the street lights came on. Sounds more like you lived on Waltons Mountain though. LOL!

Very nice post!

Good night, Aunt Jackie. Good Night John Boy. Good Night Ma. Good night Pa... :D

awaiting said...

You captured the essence of childhood so nicely. I had such a good time reading this!

I used to climb trees...well heck...I still do when I find one worthy of climbing!

Chelly said...

Beautiful post Jacs. I used to love the trees in my neighbourhood too. Such good times.

Aunt Jackie said...

Thank you Awaiting and Chelly! Glad you liked it--I love trees.

Kristie said...

Reanna (my 6 year old) has recently starting climing the beloved Japanese Maple in my front yard. We live right in the heart of Memphis. I had to make her dad let her climb it even though it is fragile (and she steps all over my sprouting bulbs!) I keep in mind "bug track trail". Next time we go to Mee Mee's I am going to introduce her to the tree. It will get some more action from Reanna (Ree) and Jackson (Jack). Yes they should seem awfully familiar (Marie and Jack).

Kristie said...

And Aunt Jackie. Let me know when you and Richie are going for another overnight visit. I want to take the kids to spend the night and make tea cakes.

Aunt Jackie said...

Yes, they are namesakes Kris!! Will do, maybe in a couple weeks. I'll call ya.