I’ve never been the type who was ever able to climb a tree. Or build a treehouse, for that matter, which I guess goes right along with never being able to climb a tree. I mean, if I can’t get up into the tree, how the hell could I haul up stuff to build a treehouse. I couldn’t, Reader, that’s how, and also why I never had a treehouse.
I heard a country song on the radio tonight that talks about sending kids outside to climb trees, and do old-fashioned wholesomey stuff with getting dirt on their hands, and the key message is getting back to simpler times and believing most people are good. And that got me thinking about the fact that I never could climb a tree. And also questioning, “Are most people good?”
There is a big ol’ overgrown apple tree in the backyard of the house where I grew up in the country. My dad still lives there, and the tree just keeps getting bigger and bushier and more overgrown because that’s what happens when ya get older. You just let nature run things and hope for the best.*
Back when I lived there, the apples would get pecked by birds and such before we were ever able to make use of them and eventually they would rot and fall off and attract both bees in the summer and deer in the fall
You couldn’t run barefoot in the yard in the late summer and fall because stepping on an apple held many penalties, from the least innocuous of feeling a hot rotten apple squish up between your toes, to the perilous unleashing of bees in a swarm that would be burrowed inside, getting drunk on the delicious sugary feast.
As a kid** I had really bad vision and glasses were required for me to see five feet in front of me. Sometimes, being a country kid, I’d just run outdoors real quick to do a little something, like maybe run to the garden to grab a tomato from the vine to make my favorite summertime breakfast of toast and butter with fresh sliced tomatoes and a sprinkle of salt. I would eat so many tomatoes during the summer that i’d get sores in my mouth from the acid, and so my mama would be sure to plant enough yellow tomatoes so I could switch off because they are gentler and less acidic.
Quite frankly, remembering that reckless behavior of just charging through the lawn without shoes or glasses on just made my chest tighten up. I would not even CONSIDER walking barefoot down my city-living driveway to get the mail nowadays, and yet there I was, all willy-nilly gadabouting through a country yard without a sole between myself and scary things.
But anyway, that’s what I did, and I lived so here we are – all my reckless behavior back then had no ill effects, other than one time when I was on my way to the tomato patch – without my glasses on – and stopped just short of jumping on a stick in the yard, and then the stick moved and it was a giant gardner snake, and for-the-holy-love-of-cake, that scared me straight into wearing shoes and also my glasses when I went outside after that.
I guess that song just got me to thinking about the actual degree of difficulty involved to climb a tree, and just because I never mastered tree-climbing skills, is it really something simple to do? Do kids even climb trees nowadays? I never see a kid climbing a tree where I live. The neighbor has a tire swing hanging from a tree, but nobody is ever swinging from it when I drive past.
Instead of just singing along, I’m questioning the validity of the entire song. I don’t know if it’s as simple as just getting out there and climbing some trees. And I’m not sure most people are good. I think some people are good. I’m not willing to buy-in to most. I’m not sure I’m even considered “good.” I think I’m at best good enough. We all have had a little dirt on our hands.
What do you think, Reader – are most people good?
I don’t know.
Sometimes the best I can do is to hope to walk with clarity in vision and avoid the swarm of the bee-filled apples.
*that is not a covert reference to the state of my vagina. It’s kept in very nice shape. Sort of.
**I say “kid” like I was a precocious eight year old, but I was a teen – probably a fifteen teen. At my age now, I consider that a kid.
***Until I was in my twenties, I was blind-as-a-bat-needing-glasses, but laser eye surgery provided me with the kind of eyes that can spot a snake in the grass without additional aid. If only other snakes-in-the-grass were that easy to spot.
****Now I’ve led you to believe that I’ve been wronged somehow, with my throwing shade by asking if people are good, or are they sneaky-snakes, and that’s not accurate. Nothing happened. Nothing happened recently. It’s just an overall observation about people that have passed through my life, and some of them aren’t really as good they’d like ya to believe. Probably the same could be said about me.
****I’m blaming the rum.
*****And the cats. Because they peed on the bed – AGAIN – Last night and today – so basically we change our sheets and entire bedding more often than Heloise would ever suggest to a normal person – and while that load of laundry is in the dryer, I decided to make a little drinkie-poo to take the edge off and NOT kill a cat or two, and then I sat down to write, and all this came out.
*******I take it back, I think I AM good, in fact I may be GREAT, because not one of my
seven three cats have been strangled this week. Or thrown outdoors to go live in a tree somewhere.
********Maybe when I sing that song I’m actually thinking “kittens” instead of “people” during the line “and i believe most
kittens people are good” and since I live with so many a-hole kittens I’m now questioning everything, including my ability to climb trees.
********I still blame the rum.