English: Old Oak Tree

Old Oak Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Daily Prompt: “What was your favorite(sic) plaything as a child? Do you see any connection between your life now, and your favorite childhood toy?”

That’s a hard question. I think back on my childhood and no “toy” sticks out. When I lived in Newcastle it didn’t seem to be about toys but about the suburb growing up around this bunch of kids that ran around and explored, often getting into trouble through sheer exuberance. The “world” around us was our plaything. When I wasn’t ill with asthma and reading at home I was out there. I do remember billy carts and bicycles and a bump and go Dalek but none stick out.

There is one particular part of that environment that sticks out to me. Close to the top of our street was an empty lot with a huge old oak tree. My friends and I spent hours climbing up and down and around that tree. We even used it to avoid a little sister.

It was a grand tree with huge spreading branches. I remember acorns that started green and slowly darkened into a dark honey colour. I remember the huge, rich green leaves. I remember the rough bark and how it felt under my hands as I climbed. I remember the little shiver of anxiety as you edged out onto a branch that got thinner and thinner underneath you.

Imagine how worried that small bunch of boys was when the block of land was sold. Lucky for us even thirty five years ago a tree that big and old was protected.

Is there a connection between that tree and my life now? No, none at all and that is, perhaps, a problem. It would be nice to be more connected to that wonderful, natural world of my childhood.