The world looks a little different when you’re sitting 20’ up the side of a red oak. Our views about life are all a matter of perspective and when I’m in a tree stand with my longbow in the autumn woods; my view becomes a little mellower. A little less negative, a little less cynical. Doesn’t matter if its 80 degrees and I’m swatting mosquitoes away from my ears and wiping sweat from my eyes in early October or I’m freezing my extremities off in single digits in late December. In fact, the world looks pretty darn good from my perch as I glance down at the fallen leaves under me.
Over the years, I’ve solved all sorts of the world’s problems from up here. Sometimes I ponder the past, consider the future and contemplate the present. Topics from A to Z drift in and out of my mind while up here with the breeze in my face. What needs to be done at work, what projects at home are on the back burner, should I have went out for the varsity basketball team in high school??? What direction our country is heading, do I have enough money to pay for my kids’ education, what will we have for dinner tonight? Did I just hear a twig snap? Was it a deer or only a squirrel playing his tricks on me? Will I live to a ripe old age? I wonder how different my life is from my grandparents. Why do my knees ache when it’s damp out? Why are we still in Afghanistan? Maybe I will win the lottery someday…What will I have for dinner? Man, I must be hungry…
My thoughts are totally random and connected all at the same time. One idea leads to the next and so on and so on. Some thoughts are deep and meaningful while others are nothing short of ridiculous. Memories float through my head, some good, some not so good. I look down the trail and think about a buck from years ago that made the mistake of coming too close to gorge himself on some acorns and he wound up in my freezer and on my wall. I glance up the ridge and remember the doe that I missed and the arrow that whistled over her shoulder. I think about the memories I’ve made and experiences I’ve shared with my kids out here in the woods and a tear wells up in my eye. I think about the roundness of my son’s face when he was a 9 year old out here with me squirming like 9 year olds do and how he is now a fine young man and taller than his dad. I think about dragging my little girl out into the cold, her all bundled up like an Eskimo. I think about her being a crack shot and the venison she’s provided for us. I think about her graduating next year and going off to college and the tear leaves my eye and rolls down my cheek. I think of how blessed I am to have been their dad and for them to see the world from 20’ up a tree…Snap again! It’s not a squirrel! Just a couple more steps and the cedar shaft will be on its way and hopefully buried to the fletching in the buck’s sweet spot.
Yep, the world looks pretty good from up here…If your perspective is a little off, I’d highly recommend climbing a tree. It might just clear your view.