I climbed a tree once. About ten years ago. A beautiful twisted grandfather tree, with a sparse thatch of small green leaves. A rainforest veteran too old to put up much of a fight. I never was much of a tree climbing kid. Fell out of a few. Branches never seemed to hold me like they did other kids. But I climbed this tree – the old Booyong, burdened with a couple of climbing accessories – part rotting trunk, part steel ladder and part Strangler Fig.
In thirty seconds I was one hundred feet in the air. I stood in the old man’s canopy, on a small steel platform, underneath one of his surviving branches, now twisted and gnarled like arthritis. Vines and air ferns draped across the sky like exotic curtains. Pallid question marks of mist rising from between distant woolly green hills. A King Parrot whistled from somewhere close by, and at my level. For a few minutes I was in his space. A beautiful space. I understood why his calls always sounded so joyous.