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Climbing Trees

Once upon a time we all knew how to take care of ourselves. We instinctively gravitated toward the things we needed… a safe caregiver, new learning experiences, fun, solitude, purpose. We woke up in the morning with fresh eyes, ready to try. We explored the world around us with curiosity. We sat by ourselves and stared at the ceiling and sucked our thumbs when we needed to calm down. We climbed trees. We closed our eyes and drifted to sleep with our bellies and minds full.

As a kid in a middle class neighborhood in the middle of the city, I was lucky to have trees in my yard. They were excursions of exploration and adventure. I challenged myself like a monkey and scared my mother. I also used them as a way to escape into a whole world of freedom and imagination. They were a comfort and at the same time exhilarating.

It's been a long time since I've climbed a tree. I don't even know when I stopped. I stopped seeing them as playgrounds and started viewing them as beautiful but inconsequential lawn ornaments. As an adult I forgot how to play. I forgot to do things just for the fun of them. I forgot how rewarding an adventure is, how much I learn, and how much I breathe.

Today my challenge is to remember how to take care of myself. I need to find a place to rest, a tree to climb, and a caregiver to care. Where will you find those things?

Unsplash: Niko Photos

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