Swinger of Birches

When I was a kid, I used to go into a wooded area by my house and climb trees. Not big oaks or maples, these were thin birches or poplars.

I discovered that if I climbed them high enough, eventually my weight would bend the tops over and deliver me gently back to earth. Years later, I discovered that Robert Frost had written a poem about this very feat. He wrung a lot of wisdom out of the metaphor, so I don’t see any point in expanding on it.

But when I’m doing something that gives me joy, I often have to ward off a voice in my head that says, “you shouldn’t be fooling around like this. There’s constructive work to be done.”

I talk a lot on this blog about getting things done, pushing through resistance, and embracing fear.

But there is a time to have fun. To just be and enjoy.

I’ve made the final line of the poem a kind of mantra:

“One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”



Eric Edstrom is the author of the YA science fiction series The Undermountain Saga and The Scion Chronicles
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