2/8/09

A Tree For Every Child

To all my blogger friends in Australia: Baino, Arija, Bimbimbie, Lavender, Pam, Rich, Winterwood and Anon, (please see my sidebar for links) I hope you are safe from the bush fires. My condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones especially the children.
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Trees and Heights
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I think a child should have at least one chance to climb a tree. Growing up, I thought our neighbor was wealthy because he had a lot of trees in his backyard. It was almost an orchard with trees heavy with fruits. We only had one jackfruit tree in front of the house where I was born. It was a dysfunctional tree. It grew diagonally and was very skinny. I climbed the neighbors' trees and the trees at school. This was a time when children were allowed to be children and no one sued anybody because their child fell from the tree. Later when we moved to the suburbs, Mother filled our lot with trees. We even had an acacia tree. There were so many trees that no one can see our house from the street. We had avocado, starapple, mango, santol, atimoya, coconut, jackfruit, guava trees. She cycled the planting of trees so that when one tree would go past its maturity, another will take its place. We had a banana grove and rows of datiles trees that I loved to climb. I was a champion tree climber. I was not afraid of heights as long as there were branches. I am however, afraid of heights from buildings and rooftop edges.



32 comments:

buckram and bembo said...

i agree. climbing trees is the best childhood experience.you can hide up a tree, pick fruits or just relax and sway with the branches.i climbed a datilis tree once and a lizard fell on my arm it felt cold, i started screaming but it jumped so fast. i was traumatized by that i think.i still like lizards though because they get rid of some insects.

Carolyn Ann Pappas said...

I guess I missed out on a pivitol childhood experience as I never climbed a tree. We had trees, but they were pine trees and willow trees and not suitable for climbing. I do remember swinging across our creek on a willow branch like Tarzan would have though.

Ces said...

B&B, do you remember that wooden umbrella that I used to hold the datilis cherries? I am afraid of lizards too because I think one fell on my back and crawled under my shirt!

Carolyn, I think swinging from a willow branch like Tarzan is considered pivotal childhood exprience. We did that with vines and we always ended up with abrasions.

Miladysa said...

I can't remember ever climbing a tree. I think I must have done so at some point...

Fabulous drawings Ces! Every time I look at a piece of your artwork I get such a thrill and wish I have a smidgeon of your talent!

Ces said...

Miladysa, thank you. You are ever so sweet. I love to draw, for sure. I am miserable if I don't draw or paint.

Maria said...

When I was a child we had many trees in our garden, too, cherry trees, chestnut trees, apple trees, and I spent the whole summer vacations on the trees - I loved to climb so very much.
Thanks for reminding me of those happy summer days! Your drawing is so wonderful, you know that! Ah, and the second one makes me feel dizzy - I get afraid of falling down!
Have a nice week!

Ces said...

My pleasure Maria. Yes, summer vacations spent with trees. That's what we did. We did not go to resorts except during the weekend and it was such a special excursion to do so. We went to the beach a lot, we lived in an island, so a lot of shorelines. We tried to climb the cocont trees - no luck but we succeeded with the shorter palm trees.

Baino said...

It's such a shame that we've grown so litigious that kids can't be kids any more. Even playframes in local parks don't have see-saws or roundabouts any more . . as a result, apparently we're raising a generaton of children with poor gross motor skills! I love watching my niece and nephew climb too high in their Jacaranda tree, affectionately named "Climey". Thanks for the good wishes. We're fine here in Sydney. Victoria is another story.

Ces said...

Yes, I know what you mean Baino. Even the kids themselves are coached by their parents. The neighborhood kids were playing with Daisy's mother and they took one of her pups, so naturally, Sidney (Daisy's mother) snapped at the girl. She was okay but the first thing her sister asked was "Can we sue them?" Thankfully, the other kids were sensible enough to tell them that Sidney was just protecting her puppies. My husband manages our pak and it has to be compliant with safety standards. We still have a swings but the area is padded. Thankfully, I still see kids climbing trees here. My two epsilons were avid tree climbers, still are.

G3T Films said...

I wonder at what age people officially become too old to climb trees?

...or maybe it's a too heavy to climb trees thing.

Lavender said...

Thank you for thinking of us Aussies, Ces. Iam well, but they were particularly bad ones - I hope I never experience what some have in the last couple days.....
anyhow...
I am in love with this tree, I fancy I could live in it! :)

Emily said...

For sure! I practically lived in the trees in our yard! Always got annoyed with the kids who didn't know how to climb, and would do stuff like lean on dead branches and fall to the ground… which would inevitably get the rest of us in trouble...sigh good times!
Love the tree illo!

Bella Sinclair said...

Aaaaah, now I see why so many trees grow in your drawings. And beautiful, they are! Look, this one grows children-fruit!

Wow, your mom must have been a wonderful gardener, too. So many fabulous trees bearing delicious fruit. And they matured so strongly that you could climb them! What a fantastic childhood memory.

In the suburbs where I grew up, there weren't too many trees suitable for climbing. But I did like to hang from a few branches.

Ces, I LOVE how you've added color to your drawing in the header. HA! Sooooo great. And the one on the skyscraper made my stomach do a loop-de-loop, but I laughed at the same time, which was a strange sensation. :)

aimee said...

i have no problem with trees since there is something to grasp and keep me from falling, but i can't go near cliffs or open edges on tall buildings. i can't even take multi-story malls. once there was a five story mall in seattle with an open air middle where i went every day for lunch, and each time i had to restrain myself from flinging my handbag from the top floor to watch it sail to the first. some sort of weird primal thing - i still don't understand it!

Winterwood said...

Hi Ces - thanks for the note in post... I am safe for now but on my side of the country we are heating up this week - 40+ predicted for weds hopefully everything will be ok though. I worried all weekend about my dd who lives over where the real fires were this weekend, but she lives a few hours drive away so all ok. Its been awful and so many lives lost. I hope Bimbimbie is ok? they are having floods up that way and the fires lower down - maybe shwe will let us know how they are going where she is?

Ces said...

Rich, you made me laugh. A lot of reasons but I did teach my children to climb the trees so I did climb trees in my late thirties and forties. I think the knees have a lot to do with climbing and mine are shut! I hope you are safe.

Lavender, what a relief. What devastation and so tragic. I am glad you are safe.

Oh Bella, we had so mant tree varieties in our island and they were all suitable for climbing, even the tall palm trees which we tried to climb but not to the canopy. My mother was the Queen of Gardening. Anything she touched grew and all the flowers she planted bloomed. Me, I can't even keep the grass healthy but I am trying. The rooftop is the one in New Jersey where I lived. I was so scared of it but I always dared myself to sit on the edge! The colors are images of the paintings. That's where they are really hanging in the room.

Emily, I know what you mean but even I would venture into the farthest and very thin branches that I would break off the branch and come falling down like a with on a broomstick.

Aimie, you and I have the same sensation with open structures. I can't even stand on a chair next to the window in my office. When I went to the top of the World Trade Center I was so scared to go to the edge where the safety rails were but I wanted to have proof so I told my then boyfriend, now husband, to hurry up and take a picture of me leaning against the rails.

Oh Winterwood, I hope she is okay. I know she has a lot of woods in her property. Let's pray for the best. I am glad to hear you are okay.

BT said...

I did a lot of tree climbing with my brother as a child, usually on holiday on the Isle of Sheppey. That tall building drawing made me feel queasy! I'm ok with heights if there's a rail or I'm enclosed, but the edge of a cliff or tall building. AAAH!
Love the drawings, they're inspirational.
I concur with the best wishes and thoughts to our Australian friends. My sister is in New South Wales but luckily OK at the moment.

Björnik said...

Ces, I can so relate to this. I miss climbing trees and atop our roof with my tita who's a year younger. Have you ever tried climbing a papaya tree(is it considered a tree)? When I was about 7, I stole a green papaya from our neighbor that later on burned our tongues. Talk about karma.

How about your children? It would be fun if they too can experience rural life in the Philippines. Haaayyy...I miss those days.

kj said...

my favorites:
--your header pops with the added color of the wall paintings. i've always loved black and white drawings (and photographs) with special infusions of color
--the bark on the trees
--she with the pokadots

Bimbimbie said...

Walls and climbing frames I spent most time on or hanging off as a kid. I grew up in an inner town where trees lived in the council parks with little notices saying keep off*!* I've said it here before, your mother was very special.

Thanks for thinking of us down under ... ditto what Baino said for me Tsup*!*

Bimbimbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Breese said...

Wonderful Ces, what an amazing tree!!

G3T Films said...

Yeah, we're all good here. Although watching the news is hazardous to ones sense of joy at the moment.

laughingwolf said...

funny thing ces, i'm the same way

Pam said...

Thank you so much for thinking of us in Australia Ces, with this heartbreaking large-scale tragedy. I too, had a childhood climbing tree, a very tall almond tree. It was wonderful to climb and eat almonds at the same time! My brother and I loved that tree.

merlinprincesse said...

Lovely image. I was not a tree climber... more a pond dweller...Hhehehe. And I love that you have said a word about Aussies. I am very concerned about them all... And I hope everyone is safe! I will put all the prizes I received from you on my blog today. I have a little time, between 2 ATCs.... :)

Diana Evans said...

what a wonderful piece Ces!!!I have a thing about trees...I love it!!!

I also love your new banner...how clever to add the colour pieces...

Have a wonderful day!!!

Chris said...

This deserves a lot of contemplation. I am going to be looking at this one for awhile.
One of the great things about your work is its mystery and how it evokes different things from different people.

I used to love climbing trees! It was an exception, since I was not generally a brave child.

Ces said...

BT, I too am scared of rooftops and building edges, that is why I keep drawing them, if that makes any sense at all, but I do feel queasy and sometimes my heart beats fast while drawing. I just enjoy seeing children climb trees. Reminds me of my happy childhood.

Bjornik, my children are tree climbers when they were little. They are not afraid of heights, it seems. They used to hide up in the magnolia tree before our neighbor cut it down. I love climbing the rooftops in the Philippines. I did that a lot when I was in high school.

Thanks KJ. I thought it would be fun to put the actual images of the paintings instead of the drawings. Yes, I have been drawing polka dots!

Oh Bimbimbie, I hate it when there is a sign to keep off the trees probably due to litigations. Wall climbing is fun too. We climbed the walls of our schools on weekends so we can sneak into the playground.

Thank you Peter.

Rich, I think watching the news is heartbreaking. I have been following the news and the mounting death toll is very sad. What a great tragedy. I just hope the fires stop soon.

Wolfie we're peas in a pod then :)

Pam, I am relieved to read your comment which means you are safe. I agree, sadly. The almond tree sounds good. My favorite trees were the fruit trees.

Ces said...

Merlin Princess, of course the pond! Unfortunately we had to be careful as our were polluted. You are welcome and enjoy your awards!

Hello dear Diana. Thank you very much. I love people who love trees! :)

Hello Chris, thank you for your sweet comment. Sometimes I think it's the recollection of the past. We tend to love sharing past experiences. Have fun.

Sandy said...

I LOVE your drawings. I know I always say the same thing, but wow, what talent you have. Gosh that tree with the kids in it is great.

Ces said...

Thank you Sandy. I had a lot of fun drawing this :)