A Setting

The wind is steady, making the trees sway in the neatly trimmed yards along the street. Back and forth, back and forth…an occasional branch scratching a window or wall. The houses are colorful and cheery, placed in the middle of green lawns and flowering gardens.

One yard has the maple tree, its branches reaching high over the rooftops, lush with pale green leaves. It might be the tallest tree on the street, but you shouldn’t let it intimidate you. Start at the bottom. The thick trunk you couldn’t reach your arms around until it splits off into three branches. There’s a perfect foothold if you jump and grab the small branch over your head, now pull yourself in.

Now you have a choice. You can stay here and play; the branches here are evenly spaced around the tree and are perfect for monkey bars. If you want to go around in circles. Or you could climb higher, and climbing higher is better. Grab that branch, put your foot there, then there. Pace yourself, up and up and up until you can swing yourself into that safe place to sit.

Way up high.

Where the birds make their nests and the leaves grow too thickly to be seen through. Somewhere between the Earth and Sky. Free. No one else is up this high. Up here there is so much more for you to see. More than houses and their neatly trimmed yards and gardens. There are mountains and sky in all directions.

But don’t look down. Not at the ground. The ground is another world, separate and different from the world up here. Down there, there are rules and responsibilities and business. Up here, you can escape from reality, even if just for a little while. Leave behind the rules and responsibilities and take a moment. Take a moment to breathe. Bring into you the relaxation and beauty of the world. Way up here you don’t have to be real anymore. You can become whatever you want in the world and not worry about life.

Leave the tree slowly, sinking down with the setting sun. Climb higher next time. Find a new place to slip into. Explore the world unrelated to the ground.