-The purpose of this assignment was to write an ode to some aspect of nature. I chose trees. I chose to include this piece in this portfolio because I like it. Its something personal to me and it was nice revisiting childhood moments. While writing it, I realized how open something like poetry is. There are no wrong turns, only possibilities.

We can thank trees for many things. The air they breathe out into our lungs. The sunlight they stand up tall to and shield. And who hasn’t used a tree as a last minute hiding spot in a frantic game of hide and seek. They are like humans’ silent, dormant companions, and staring at them sometimes you’d think they’re just about to animate and start talking slowly, deeply, and wisely like the ents from Lord of the Rings. As brisk wind rushes through their crispy fall leaves it’s like they all get stirred up and excited for a moment, all congregating together in a town hall uproar. Climbing trees was a way for me to attend these secret meetings of nature and see what they were all about. It was also my greatest hobby as a child. Mountains were out of the question so I had to make do with trees. I bought all the climbing gear, including a fairly simple rappel system, and I would string myself up to one of the branches, just hanging there, to feel what it was like. I remember hanging onto the crocodile-skinned branches, gathering more splinters than I can remember. When I reached the point climbing when I was too scared to go further, I straddled a branch and nestled my back against the painfully uneven trunk surface, took a deep breath and tried to relax and not look down. After a few seconds, I acclimatized to my fear, and I was home. Completely comfortable in every sense of the word. Present to every chirp, bristling leave, and scurrying chipmunk around me. I was out of sight, and hiding spots I treasured. This was probably the greatest one I ever found. I love trees for the air, shade, and hiding spots they give us, but I would trade all of these things for what trees were to me. A brief chance of total clarity and escape from everything else that wasn’t so serene.