Friday, January 28, 2011


When I was a boy we always seemed to be climbing trees.  It was so prevalent that you couldn't pass a tree of any size without spotting a boy somewhere in it.  I use the term boy as I can't for the life of me remember that any girls ever went in for the activity.

As a consequence of this, I had an intimate knowledge of the tree structure of every climbable tree in the neighborhood.  Branches and boughs like these were implanted deep in my psyche.  If we could get up high enough to grasp a handhold we would be up in a matter of seconds.  Passing adults would pay no heed as it was such a common pastime.

As far as I can remember, no-one ever fell out of a tree and we didn't damage them - we were fond of the great beasts and considered them to be part of our environment.  On returning to an area I knew as I child some years ago, all the buildings had gone, but I recognized some of the trees I had climbed.  They were like old friends.

I don't think I've seen a boy in a tree in several decades, and that's a shame.  Maybe the trees are glad but it speaks of how our society has changed.  For instance, any injury incurred would result in some lawsuit against the owner, be it park, city or private.  So any likely looking boy would be chased off.

But then they're all sitting down playing Nintendo, or searching Facebook.  Somehow I think my childhood was better.


  1. Trevor, I can really relate to this! I was born in Michigan and there were trees everywhere. I can remember climbing trees and having races to see who could get up there the fastest.

    I can remember loving to climb very high and once camouflaged the leaves, spooking walkers by or making noises to scare them......yes trees were the hangout and oh boy was it cool if someone actually had a tree-house/club house.....I never built one. However, there is a kid in me still longing to build a tree-house.

  2. Better not try that in California, Etori. You'll run head first into the Forest Service, who I suspect are now wearing jackboots!