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Life in Community

Be Adventurous, But Listen to Your Parents

October 3, 2018 by

boy in a hemlock tree

Another letter to Kiera from our blogger Eva. This letter is part of a series.

Dear Kiera,

“Go hug a tree!” Has anyone said that to you? No one had to tell me.

Whenever I climbed the crab apple tree in our yard, I hugged its trunk all the way up! I loved that tree like other kids love their pets. When I was sad – or mad! – its smooth bark calmed me down as I climbed up to my perch at the top: “the crows’ nest.”

Up here I was away from everyone and everything annoying, in a green home all my own. When God made trees, I bet he knew that kids need a place to hide once in a while – don’t you think?

From my perch I could look into the branches of a much taller tree, a blue spruce. One afternoon my five-year-old brother said, “Let’s go climb that tree.”

Mom, who was busy with the younger ones, called out, “Not too high, you hear me? Eva, take care of your little brother.”

“Okay, Mom.” I must have been about eight then. My brother couldn’t reach the lowest branch so I gave him a boost. Up he scrambled. I followed, bumping my head against branches. Too many of them. And the bark was rough. Twigs lodged in my hair, and sticky sap left gunk on my hands.

Up and up, prickly needles scratching my face. “Any view up there?” I panted.

“Nope,” he said, without stopping. Finally he called, “Hey, I can see over the school.” My little brother had raced me to the top! I clambered up to get a footing near his perch. Looking over the roof of the school building, we could see our swimming pond. “Yahooo!” we shouted in tree-top triumph.

“Eva!” Far below us stood one of our neighbors. “Your mother wants you home right away!”

Uh-oh. Mom had said not to climb too high . . . Down we clambered, keeping our feet near the trunk, and looking out for dead branches.

Our mother marched down the road to meet us. “What on earth do you think you were doing?” She demanded. “You disobeyed me. Someone told me you were at the tippy-top of that tree! What if you’d fallen?”

“But Mom,” I said. “With so many branches to catch us, we’d never have hit the ground.”

“Don’t argue with me. Straight to bed, both of you!”

I could not understand why my mom was so upset. The tree had kept us perfectly safe.

When she came in to say goodnight, Mom told me I’d given her a big scare, taking my little brother up so high when she wasn’t around. We were more precious to her than the gems of Ephrata. And I was to listen to her, okay?


Of course I kept climbing trees. I hope you do too. Remember to stay near the trunk, look out for dead branches – never step on those! And always listen to your mother. As the British say: “Mum knows best”!

Love, your pen pal,



About the author

Eva Hormann portrait

Eva Hormann

Eva and her husband, Hans-Peter, live at Beech Grove, a Bruderhof in England.

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