This morning I thought, innocently, “Why am I having a hard time lifting my arms?”

A good portion of the day passed before I realized the answer: on Sunday I’d climbed a tree using ropes and various clamps and tools I can’t name. I’m not even sure how high the tree was. I hadn’t intended to be in it, but I’d tagged along with my partner and a few friends following our weekly coffee hour at City Feed and Supply. One thing led to another, and I found myself following the instructions of our friend Andrew, a self-taught naturalist and long-time recreational climber, inching my way up a stately white oak.


Back during summer, I’d similarly found myself doing something curious with Andrew and friends: spying on a collection of bee hives at the Boston Nature Center in Mattapan from a safe distance –until that distance was no longer safe and we had to run away! And then we respectfully chased some wild turkeys at a nearby community garden.

Here we see Adam turkey-stalk

It does not escape my notice that I continually, accidentally enjoy the types of adventure that many people pay good money for, and I do it for free. Or, more accurately, I do it for the price of my own curiosity and willingness to give things a try, my drive towards meaningful connection, my interest in feeding care into the relationships that support my partner. For this gift, I’ll gladly bear the sore shoulder or two.