It wasn't too hard to dunk Nolan into his car seat and hook Willoughby up to his leash. The promise of a possible break from my overwhelming thoughts practically pushed me out the door. As I walked I took in the neighbor's freshly mowed lawns, pretty flowers and newly mulched beds. Nolan's smiles and babbling seemed to go hand in hand with the innocence and sincere newness of the earth around me.
Scanning a particularly beautiful yard my eyes stopped on a large Maple tree that stood tall and proud. I felt as though its inviting limbs were beckoning to me. Its branches were perfect for climbing... up and up... away from it all... don't look back, just keep on climbing. It took everything in me to not park the stroller right there and run over to the tree and escape.
When I was little one of my favorite things to do was to climb the Maple in my backyard. It was "my" tree and a place I would go to be alone. I remember climbing up to "my" branch, book in hand, water jug around my neck. Having not a care in the world I would read to my heart's delight. I felt such peace in those moments. I loved my tree so much I remember wishing I could spend the night in it.
In my teenage years I would climb to my branch to think and pray and to make sense of life. It was the escape I needed in times of teenage angst. No matter how long I wanted to stay sitting on my branch, I always had to come down. I couldn't stay hidden in my tree forever and had to face whatever it was by climbing down and moving on.
And so, with a wistful glance, I decided to keep walking. It is easier to face what is before me now instead of hiding from it. Besides... I'm not sure my thirty something self could make it up a tree without injury.