Touching the sky
When I was a young boy I lived in a road where there were three really tall poplars sticking up at the end. I loved climbing trees. For me it was similar to a computer game. You learnt how to do each little bit.
I chose the middle tree and set about conquering it. It was so tall that it stretched right up into the heavens. I got this idea in my head that if I could get to the point at the top I could reach up into the sky.
Regularly I would climb up and learn another section.
It started getting scary when I reached the top section. The branches were very thin and a lot of them were dead and broke off in my hand. Not only that but the whole top was swaying around in the wind and it looked an awful long way down to the concrete below. If I looked down I started to feel dizzy. So I looked up and tentatively worked my way up. I was careful. The small dead branches became more like sticks, dried twigs. But I was determined. I inched my way up and did reach out into the sky.
I reached out through the last bit into the void.
That’s when it went wrong. I couldn’t get back down. All the thin branches kept breaking. My feet could find no footholds. Everything kept breaking. I hung on to the narrow trunk as it swayed back and forth. I imagined it breaking off and pitching me into space. I was paralysed.
In the end one of my friends went and got help. They had to get a fire-engine with one of those long ladders.
I had touched the sky but it was rather an ignominious end.
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