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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Climbing tree!

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the earth’s sweet flowing breast
A tree that look at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
A tree that may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair
Upon whose bosom snow has lain who intimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me
But only God can make a tree
~~~Joyce Kilmer

Joyce Kilmer had a lovely poem on trees, I have no poem of my own on trees but I sure had fond memories of trees. It is not something that my eyes just appreciate but I got to climb a lot of trees not just when I was young but even when I was older.

I really had a carefree childhood. I lived in a compound with other families and there were lots of trees there. There were mango trees, Sampaloc, Caimito (Starapple), Santol, Mansanitas and Aratiles… and I got to climb all of them!

The teenagers build a tree house in the biggest mango tree there and the younger ones—that’s us get to stay there too. We would just hang around telling stories or we would be playing bahay-bahayan (playhouse) there!

You can’t really stay long in a sampaloc tree since there were so many higads (hairy caterpillars) that you’ll get itchy if you stay long.

The caimito trees were huge there and we could not climb from its trunk instead we would climb the concrete fences, run through it and go on top of a roof and climb from the dangling branches to get to the main tree and there we would get the fruits. Lots of fruits! We would eat some while we are still on top of the tree and then we would bring a lot down and eat some more! We would also get leaves and use the sap and place it in our skin and fold the skin and it would seem as if we had a cut!

We also climbed a santol tree. There was only one santol tree in our compound and we would tuck our shirts in our shorts when we climb it and place the fruits inside our shirts. There was an Atis tree beside the santol but we don’t have to climb it since it is not really a big tree. We just get the fruits and eat it and spit the many seeds!

The mansanitas is a very shady tree and has lots of fruits. We would get the fruits and we would roll it in our hands to make it softer before we eat them. This is the tree where my older brother fell and almost died… but after he got stitched and got better he still climbed it!

Now there were a lot of Aratiles that grow in the compound and it had so many fruits! You’ll get tired eating of the fruits since they are just so many. There was one tree though that was near the concrete fence and it had a nice formation. In the afternoon, I would climb it and stay where there is a place where you can comfortably sit and just watch everything from above. It was not really that tall a tree but then I was young and for me it was like I was on a very high place and it felt good!

In my high school there was were also some caimito trees in the quadrangle and occasionally I would climb and get some fruits. I even remember going on a retreat in high school where there was a big caimito tree and when my classmates told me to climb to get some fruits I really climbed. I got some alright but I had to hurry down since I heard a tuko. It was saying "tu-ko..tu-ko...tu-ko!!!" A tuko is an ugly lizard that clings to your skin and sucks blood! Yikes don't want it to cling to my skin so I hurried down and run fast to the safety of the retreat house where the windows had screen!

We transferred to another place when I was in third year and there were not much trees there. However, I remember one summer when I was in second year college that we went to a place nearby where there were lots of trees. We were with the caretakers son and he told us that we could climb trees! I got so excited when I saw a caimito tree. I haven’t climbed in a long time and I was there when I heard a man shouting with a bolo (a big knife) in his hands. He thought we were trespassers and he was mad! I was really scared and missed a branch that I turned and fell from the tree. I had to get up in a hurry though and ran as fast as I can since he was really mad! I thought that was the end of my climbing!

But just more than 3 years ago, our company had an excursion in Villa Escudero. There was a small tree there. I immediately climbed it and asked one of the guys to take my photo. I don’t know what happened but I fell from the tree. Everyone was shocked! Goodness, I too was shocked but funny, I hit the ground but it was as if there was cushion on my back. It was actually a bad fall but I was not hurt… oh okay, maybe just my ego…but after I brushed myself to remove the dust and see that I had no cuts and bruise, I smiled… a big smile to show everybody that I was okay… hehehe! It was better than showing how embarrassed I was!

So I haven’t climbed a tree for a while but am currently talking to a TREE… Hehehe not a real tree but a human... a biologist! This post is for him. I can’t really identify the many species he studies but I sure have fond memories of some…


Anonymous rolly said...

Ha ha ha. With your size, I could imagine how you landed on the ground.

Now I know why in you other site, you are holding a tre (small tree, tree, big tree).

It is just a pity that in our country, people don't care about them. And in general, most if not all Filipinos cares not about the mother nature.

I wish we all learn the poem by heart and head, body and soul.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous rolly said...

by the way, i've moved my blog to http://expat.fil.ph/.

Thank you.

2:30 AM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

Rolly, kaya pala di ako makapunta sa site mo dahil lumipat ka na, anyway nabago ko na link mo. Nag-isip ako kung ano yung tinutukoy mo na tree sa "other site" ko, ay yung website ko pala... hehehe. tama ka nakahawak nga pala ako sa puno doon. Malaki na yung puno na iyon ngayon!

The poem by Joyce Kilmer is nice. I know it is being taught in schools and we would even sing it. Anyway, i am happy that somehow there are more trees now in Quezon City and though there are no nest of robins in her hair, sometimes she has a lot of ribbons to adorn her...hehehe... yellow ribbons... red ribbons, all sorts of political ribbons!!!

4:58 PM  
Blogger bing said...

that is a very nice poem by Joyce Kilmer. she is a brilliant poet. nakakahinayang nga at meron din akong poem about trees kaya lang nawala. sana mahanap ko pa.

ei, 'lizbeth, climber ka pala. wala bang ganun sports sa SEAGAMES? he he

10:45 PM  

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