Please provide a summary of Chapter 5 in The Story of My Life by Helen Keller.

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Helen climbed a tree and was frightened by a storm, but later that spring she climbed another tree anyway. 

Helen is still young and learning about the world after her “soul’s sudden awakening.”  Helen enjoys nature.  She spends time exploring and learning the names of objects, increasing her “sense of kinship with the rest of the world.” 

One day she learns that nature can also be frightening and dangerous.  She had climbed into a tree when a sudden thunderstorm hit. 

Suddenly a change passed over the tree. All the sun's warmth left the air. I knew the sky was black, because all the heat, which meant light to me, had died out of the atmosphere. A strange odour came up from the earth. I knew it, it was the odour that always precedes a thunderstorm, and a nameless fear clutched at my heart. (Ch. 5) 

Anne Sullivan came along and helped her down, but Helen had a better appreciation for the diversity and force of nature after that.  For a long time, she did not climb another tree.   What once seemed pleasant and inviting now held possible terror. 

One spring morning Helen was encouraged by the smell in the air and the sunshine on her face to try to climb a tree again. 

But I had a delicious sense that I was doing something unusual and wonderful, so I kept on climbing higher and higher ... I sat there for a long, long time, feeling like a fairy on a rosy cloud. (Ch. 5) 

After this, Helen spent many hours in the “tree of paradise.”  She had gotten over her fear, and the result was that she had learned that despite challenges, there are some things worth doing.  While Helen might be more wary of the world because she cannot experience it with all of her senses, she is learning to rely on the senses she has.

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The Story of My Life

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