On Climbing Trees and Hiding in Tall Grass
by Marilyn Mackenzie
Recently, I sharedÂ that Grandma’s Was a Simple Faith.Â She was content in knowing that because her education only lasted for a short time, she still was able to think like a child. She smiled, and remind me that Jesus said we should become like children – full of wonder, open to the leading of God, loving, non-judgmental.
Sometimes I remember the things I enjoyed doing as a child. I loved climbing the cherry tree in our backyard. None of the other kids in my neighborhood could climb that tree without a boost. I could shimmy up the tree trunk just enough to get close to a large branch and then using all of the moves I hadÂ learned on the monkey bars, I could climb that tree without any assistance.
Once there, I chased away the birds and ateÂ the sweet, juicy dark cherries.Â But that tree was also a wonderful hiding place for me when I wanted to write or draw.Â IÂ took a tablet with me and a sketch pad and wrote poems and stories and then sketched pictures to go with my writings. How I wish I had kept those poems and stories and pictures. What fun it would be to look back at the world as seen from the eyes of my childhood self.
Another place where I loved retreating was off in a field of tall grass. My friends and I were a bit scared that we might encounter snakes in the tall grass. But our enjoyment of hiding there, in a field close enough to the road that we could see the comings and goings of all of our neighbors yet hidden from view by the tall grass, was enough to make us take the chance of seeing snakes.
Sitting there, weÂ each retreated into our own worlds. My friends might be absorbed in the pages of the latest Trixie Beldon book or The Five Little Peppers. I would write and draw.
IÂ balanced my sketch pad on one knee and my writing tablet on the other. I was never allowed to walk barefoot, but as soon as I settled down into my hidden writing place, I tookÂ off my shoes and socks. How I loved the feel of the cold grass on my bare feet! The ants and bugs crawling around my feet didn’t even bother me. They were God’s creatures.
I don’t have any of the stories or pictures I wrote as a ten and eleven-year-old child. But I know that most of what I wrote had to do with nature and God. Even back then, I was impressed with the miracles all around me and knew that only God could have created them.
Today, I don’t have a tree to climb or a field of tall grass to hide in when I want to study God’s word or write about his wondrous creations.
Somehow, writing at a table or desk just doesn’t inspire me as much as sitting amongst the tiniest creatures.
When I lived in Texas, before the pain of fibromyalgia and the fatigue, I sat on my front porch.Â Often, I awoke before the sun, so I could have the just-waking sun and birds and squirrels as my inspiration.
There, in the midst of concrete and other creations of man were some trees and flowers and plants. The neighbor’s cat scurried to see me and jumped into my lap as I gazed at the squirrels and birds. Then, I felt close enough to God to really talk with Him and to hear His voice.
Now you know why I miss being able toÂ wake up early – with the sun and the Son.
1 Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.