This is the earliest picture of me taken by one. I'm standing in front of a small genip tree, circa 1956 Cruz Bay, St. John. Even though I’m wearing a little dress, the sash isn't tied and I am barefoot. It's a portent of things to come
The genip, (with a hard g) bears small round fruit between the size of a nickel and a quarter. It grows in bunches something like grapes. The fruit is covered by a leathery green skin which surrounds pinkish flesh. The pinkish flesh surrounds a large seed. The fruit is tart/sweet and ripens right around the time school begins and was always a favorite among the kids. Like spitting watermelon seeds, there were contests to see who could spit their genip skins the farthest.
It's faded, but I'm there, like a chameleon. This picture, taken around 1958, shows me in my favorite genip tree that grew by the house we lived in at Caneel Bay.
The way my left hand is casually resting on the trunk of the tree, it looks like I’m standing in a doorway or next to a pillar.
I wasn't using the trunk to support myself, or to keep my balance on the branch. I simply had my hand on it like someone resting a hand on a doorjamb. I was totally unafraid of heights. (Not so any more.)
I loved that tree. I knew exactly where my hands and feet had to go to get me to my favorite branch.
My mother couldn't keep me out it, or any other climbable tree. She used to tell me, kidding of course, "You fall out of that tree and break your arm, I'll break the other one."
I never fell out of a tree and never broke bone. Well, I did break a small wrist bone, but I was in my early 30s and it happened roller skating.
Here I am at about 11 or 12 trying to climb a coconut palm. I was never successful getting more than a few feet up. There is a way to shimmy up them, but the technique eluded me.
I was a senior in high school when this picture was taken for the yearbook. The tree is a mango. I was wearing a ratty pair of jeans and an old blue denim shirt. I was NOT a prom queen/cheerleader type of girl. The Hat has a story all it's own which I blogged about HERE.
And it doesn't end there. My sweetie and I were married under a cedar elm.
We visited it on our 20th anniversary. All of us were still alive and well.
Were you a tree climber? Do you have a special tree memory? Did you ever have a tree house? Ever fallout of a tree?