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Climbing Coconut Trees

Photo by Max Andrey on

I feel like writing about something nostalgic today, something from way back I can’t help but smile at when I think about. Maybe I’ll add a thought or two eventually, maybe not. Regardless, I’m grateful for these moments and feel like writing this specific story up today.

So my brother-in-law is great, he somehow manages to make my life more chaotic than it already can be. However, he lives in Malaysia and I’m in the UK, so I don’t get to see him too often. I got the chance to stay in Malaysia for a few months and one day during Ramadan (30 days of fasting), he begins to wonder if there’s a way we could grab the coconuts from this really tall coconut tree nearby. It’s like two to three stories high. I take a glance at it and I’m thinking like, oh no, this looks like it can be climbed. Oh no because when something can be climbed, I’m game. I’m walking on the streets with my family, I’ll whoever’s next to me know when something looks like it can be climbed. I go to a bridge, I have to resist the temptation to climb the structure. However, this time, this time, my brother-in-law wanted coconuts to break fast with, so now I have an excuse to climb. I tell him to give me some time and I’ll see if I can climb it to the top. Oh yeah, it’s on.

The Rise and Fall

I take out a little time every few days to attempt to climb the tree to no success. It’s Ramadan and I’m fasting, so for the most part, religion was the priority, this was more the stuff I got into as I took breaks. I get like halfway and realise I don’t have enough stamina to last the rest of the way, so I drop back down. It’s maybe like a couple of weeks in and I notice some of the leaves hanging down and can’t help but wonder how strong the leaves are. I start tugging at it and notice that these leaves are incredibly strong. I try hanging off of it and it’s even managing to support my weight! What if–entertain me for a little–what if, I used the leaves as a rope?

I’m climbing up using the leaves as rope. I manage halfway again, surprise surprise, the leaf snaps. I’m falling down and my instincts take over. There’s actually a second leaf hanging by, and I race to stretch my hands out to it. I don’t know how, but I barely just managed to hold onto it. Phew. Snaps. Down I go again.

I fall on my head and back onto the grass, rolling in pain. Fortunately for me, the injury wasn’t too bad, it was my confidence that took the biggest hit. I roll to my side, only to find a rock somewhere between the size of my fist to my head, like a metre away from my head. I’m thinking to myself, if I’d fallen onto that, the fall could’ve been fatal. I needed some time to recover from the injury anyhow, but I knew I was now afraid to climb it again. I made some minor attempts to climb it every so often to quell the fear, but for the most part, I’m done.

Hold up, My In-Law Swoops in with His Own Genuis Idea

This isn’t over. It’s almost the end of Ramadan and my brother-in-law gets this crazy idea. What if, what if, we tape together two or three makeshift rods around the house, then fish the coconuts out of the tree?

I like the sound of that, I’m all in.

His nephew is nearby. He’s like, you’re all crazy, I want nothing to do with this. Anyways, me, my brother-in-law and his nephew go out and spend a good number of hours trying to fish out the coconuts, only managing five altogether. We bring out the ladders, change angles, take turns to fish it out, our drive rekindled every hour or so with every coconut that falls. As time goes by, I’m staring at the tree, slowly building my confidence to climb it again. I use the ladder to get halfway, climb the rest. Alhamdulillah, coconuts! Sweet, beautiful coconuts! There’s still the matter of getting down, but let’s forget about that part. Afterwards, well, my brother-in-law is the better cook, so he prepares them and we’re able to break our fast with it.

The End

Photo by Pixabay on | Roll credits!

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