GOOD OLD DAYS
How many trees have you climbed in your lifetime?
My tree climbing history started, like most kids growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, in the backyard of our home.
Back in the day, suburban homes had backyards, had trees, flower and vegie gardens and if you were lucky one of those pools that if you and a friend stretched out it, your toes would touch in the middle.
In order of best climbing memories would have to go to the Virgilia in our backyard. It was fine specimen that was host to after school girl conversations, whispered declarations of undying love for now unnamed boys and toy tea parties. My father helped my sister and I build a mini tree house in that virgilia tree in the 70’s, which sadly 40 years later was cut down by the house’s new owners.
My next favourite tree belonged at the home of my grandparents. They lived out of town, so we had the luxury of lots of trees to choose from. But that old plum tree behind the chook shed, gave us a place to hide and swing to the ground like ‘Jane’ on our own knotted rope, when Nan called us in.
Now most suburban homes don’t have backyards or climbable trees. Luckily my children lived on acreage growing up, so they got the experience of tree climbing from an early age, along with the inevitable broken arm (or two). Homes now reach from one neighbour’s fence to the other and kids live inside most of the time. Trees are relegated to local parks, but unfortunately public liability fears and the subsequent litigation, prevent most councils from allowing anyone to climb them. One day, someone might have the brains to remove those “don’t sit on the grass”, “don’t climb the trees” signs and make us responsible for our own actions.