Thursday, November 12, 2009

Be The Tree and Other Impossible Feats


Yesterday was a holiday for some.
(Bless you, Vets!)

And while some were
taking advantage of the quiet evening
with a good TV show
or a nice nap,
I was in the woods
dressed in camo.

And not only was
my wardrobe atrocious,
but the lengths I went to
to please my husband,
were right up there -
pretty dang close to crazy.

"It will be fun," he said.
"You can take your camera," he said.
"Oh, come on!" he said.

And I did.

Layering myself with
thermal long johns,
leaf-patterned jogging pants,
a full head mask, and
a bulky body harness
was enough to alert
the fashion police
that a major crime
was happening.

I looked like an old Hulk-
green and sour
and a little clumsy.

we proceeded to walk out
across the field-
the cool fresh air hitting my face...
sweet little birds singing...
leaves rustling beneath our feet...

I thought,
"This aint bad."

But bad came soon enough.

poised like a metal giant in the woods,
was a seventeen foot tree stand.

A two-man tree stand,
to be exact.

And I was one of those men.

I knew it was too late
to go back.
(Besides, I'd never be able
to get out of the harness by myself.)

So I climbed the ladder,
(shaking like those paint mixers
at Home Depot),
watching closely as every single
finger opened and closed
around the rungs.

Somehow I reached the top.
I don't remember.
I think my mind blotted it out
due to the extreme shock
on my system.

I sat down immediately,
grabbing onto a tree limb
just in case that metal stand
buckled like melting wax
or bent like rebar in an earthquake.

(This is my knee.
See it shaking?")

But my husband just kept moving around.
Dancing, actually.

Or at least it felt that way.

"Good golly, sit down!" I whispered.

That's another thing.
No talking.
No moving.
No turning up my
generic iPod to where
I could actually hear it.
No beeping of my camera.
No coughing, sneezing, or farting.
No complaining, crying,
or sleeping.


"Be the tree," he told me.
"Just be the tree."

It wasn't long before
a few deer showed up to the left,
never coming close enough
for a good bow shot,
but making a decent excuse
to use my camera-
(as quietly as possible.)

We sat.

And sat.

And sat.

My feet fell asleep.
My butt was numb.
I had a tickle in my throat
that was purring like a wild cat
wanting to be released like a scream
into the autumn air.
My stomach growled.
My neck was stiff.

A thousand and two cockle burs
were attached to my pants and coat.
And when I started picking them off,
I got a "Shhhhh!!!!!" from
the Big Deer Hunter That Wouldn't Quit Being The Dam Tree.
You know-
how loud could a cockle bur be?

Three hours later,
the sun went down-
the deer disappeared,
and my hands were cold.
And it was finally time to descend.

Right then I invented
the rich man's deer stand.
A hydrolic lifting elevator
(with quiet technology, of course)
that would raise you up
into your favorite tree
and deliver you back safely
to the ground
with a simple push
of a camouflaged button.

Too bad I didn't have one .
Going down was slower.

But once my big boots hit the ground,
I was ready to run home.

If I could have run, that is.

I waddled.
Like a fat green duck
with cockle bur wings.

I suppose I have to admit
that parts of it were fun.
Seeing the wildlife
and spending time with my husband
are always tops on my list.
The sunset was pretty.
The woods were peaceful.

And for a few hours last night,
I wasn't just a wife
or mother
or NaNa.

I was a tree.