When I was young, I loved climbing trees.
We had several in our backyard, and the one in the back right corner of our property became my favorite.
It was a bit challenging to get that first branch, scratching your way up the trunk that split a good way up the tree into two parts, but once you got there it was smooth sailing.
I had climbed so often and so many times that I knew almost with eyes closed, which branch was for which foot until I got to my special spot in the tree.
It was a very odd branch now that I think on it, because it came out from the trunk and then split into two separate branches and then almost crossed again just before the leaves, leaving a sort of "basket" for my little body to lay in.
Head on the thickest part, bottom hanging out the widest part (no comments please!) and legs that at that time in my life seemed to me a mile long, hung off either side of the boughs.
It was just high enough in the tree to go unnoticed from the ground and just high enough to see into the woods that ran alongside our property.
My house used to be the last on Memory Lane, with woods as far as I could see that were the source of many excursions for my brother and I.
We had made caves our home, caught butterflies, watched almost a hundred grasshoppers cover a sandy opening, and had a well-worn footpath through all of our favorite places to roam.
And every year there was that blackberry patch where we felt like we could be Pioneers and live off the land, gathering more berries than we could ever need.
And every year we begged and pleaded for our Mom to make us a blackberry pie. And then she did, and she TOLD us it would never be sweet enough for us.
And she was right.
So we just picked them and loaded them into containers to just eat in our favorite spot.
Like my tree.
I call it "mine" because I was the one after all, who fell and broke her arm so badly that the bones were showing themselves. And I laid on the ground and didn't want to get into trouble and didn't want to be banned from the tree, so I hid until the pain was too much to take.
And the Dr. said that it was so bad that it really should not be ever broken again in that spot.
That weak spot on my arm.
My writing arm that left me a "leftie" for a good part of school. I was determined to learn to write left-handed like my oldest sister could, even though back then, they wanted all to be "righties" so she had to change. I succeeded in printing my name spot on, and they laughed at how many pencils came tumbling out in pieces from my cast when they cut it off. After all, they were the perfect scratchers.
And away in the tree I climbed that next Summer.
Perhaps it was the fall, perhaps it was just a moment for the Lord to get my attention. Whatever it was, in my bow in the bough this year I finally let a word sink into my mind and heart.
To me, all of eight years old it was butterflies skipping from flower to flower in the meadow filled to the brim with yellows and pinks and orange and reds, sparkling in the sun. It was the locusts getting louder and louder and then quieting again all in unison. It was the breeze that was just enough to blow the hair off my face, but not rock my tree. It was the same pair of brown shorts I wore everyday and how I loved to lay back with my arms crossed behind my head.
It was here that I fell in love with wild flowers. It was here that I fell in love with butterflies. It was here that I relaxed and enjoyed being myself and it was precious.
I do not fully understand how and why the Lord shielded me from so many things that could have happened to me. I do not know why I roamed the woods without a care while others have secrets from those young years that sting to this day.
I am just grateful that in His plan for me,
there was a tree.
Where I could swing my legs and listen to the birds chime in and let anger melt away into the awe of the woods and everything that was lovely and beautiful.
It has been many many MANY years since my last climb. Funny thing is, that you don't even remember the last one, or think it is going to be the last one.
You just get caught up in life and forget how the view looked from there.
Way up above all that made you worried or scared or angry.
And today in my "Hurry" something happened that made me remember what that word really felt like again.
And a tear or two trickled down and I remembered the tree.
The smells, the sounds, the colors.
And this something that brought my mind back to the tree top, reminded me that I have gone a great while without looking up.
Not in sadness or discouragement, but in business.
And when I felt that sweetness and my mind searched for a word to even describe it, the word my mind chose took me back.
To a childhood memory where all was quiet in my heart and mind and there was nothing on the schedule for me to do but simply hang and sigh as the Lord unwrapped a beautiful scene before my eyes. As if I was the only one to see His goodness to me and He loved that I was enjoying Him.
Today, friend, find something precious.
A word, a moment, a smile, a deed done in all sincerity.
Find something that is precious to YOU.
And let it take you back to your first recognition of that word.
And let it make you smile and wonder and sigh, and relish all that God has made for you to be witness of.
I am busy today.
But not too busy to spend some time remembering what it is like to have a front row view God's goodness to me.
(P.S. I have had a terrible time posting pictures on this site. :( You'll just have to use your mind's eye for a while friends!)