A Look at What Matters

Monica Dore, Copy Editor
Like many, I spent spring break catching up on sleep and ignoring my homework. As usual, my mom gave me some chores to keep me busy, and one of these was to tidy up the basement- a job that could take years to complete, but I set to work all the same. By chance, I stumbled upon an old picture of myself, perched high in a tree and smiling down at the camera. I may have been seven or eight years old when it was taken, but I smiled, thinking of how little some things change over the years.
I grew up without cable television- a fact that makes some people gasp. “What did you do?!” they ask, with a mixture of pity and shock on their faces. My response is always the same: “I spent most of my time outside.” My family had television and I would watch reruns of cable shows on Saturday mornings, but my mom knew that if she needed to find me, the most she would have to do was stand on the porch and watch for a bleach blonde head bobbing in the tall grass.
Even now, there are days when I would like nothing more than to climb high into a tree and stay for hours. It’s a hard thing to explain. Similar to when someone explains to me their admiration for the Kardashians or their love for anime, I’ve found it hard to explain my love for trees, something others genuinely don’t care about.
Last September, during one of the first weeks at a new school, trying to connect with people I didn’t know at all, I took advantage of a warm and sunny day and climbed up into a tree on campus. I was feeling “green deprived” and I had to do something to fix that. When I got back to my dorm, I had leaves in my hair and dirt on my face, but didn’t really care. Since getting to know my hall-mates better, they’ve told me that they laughed when they saw me in the fall, hair a mess as always but accompanied by leaves and twigs.
This past weekend was almost perfect. I was thankful to be back to school after break and it was nice to see the whole campus outside enjoying the great weather. With two of my closest girlfriends, I climbed into the same tree from the beginning of last semester and stayed for a while. For me, it was a great way to celebrate the near-end of my first year in Oneonta. I started the school year in one place, alone, and then started the last month of school in the same place, but this time with the new people in my life.
I guess that this article is to do more than to tell you all that I love to look at and climb into trees. Mostly, I want to wish you a happy spring and remind you that it’s okay to leave Milne, put down your textbooks for a while and go soak up some vitamin D with friends. With only a few weeks of school left, it’s important to think about what you’ll really remember after you’ve left Oneonta for the last time. The coming weeks are perfect for laying out and tanning, playing Frisbee, or in my case, tree climbing. As I said before, some people don’t really understand my enthusiasm for trees and some people shake their heads, confused, when they see me 20 feet up. But that’s alright. After all, there are worse things in the world to be remembered by than as a crazy tree hugger.

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