Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Monday, July 18, 2011

I Talk to the Trees . . .

My Trees . . . and some of their brothers

We went camping this week.
In the great Canadian back woods.
It rained.
Only once, though.
From Saturday through Tuesday.
We huddled under our tarp, pretending that we loved camping in the rain.
Finally, the torrential (and very loud) rains moved on, and, at last, we could hear the gentle wind through the pines.
I was instantly transported back to a special time in my childhood.
In 1938, as a young man, my dad planted two pines in back of the family's home on the Stringam ranch.
Twenty-two years later, those same trees, now behemoths among their lesser brothers, sat in the front yard of the newly-constructed ranch house.
The kitchen, dining room and garage faced those trees.
And my bedroom.
It was summer.
One of those special summer days of pure, clear air, blue skies and soft wind.
When living on the prairies is is a gift of inestimable value.
It was early. Mom had been stirring in the kitchen since dawn.
I was lying awake in my bed, listening to a sound that drifted in through my opened windows and was, at once, calming and intriguing.
I had never noticed it before.
A soft ssssssssssssss.
Mom came into the room and sat on the edge of my bed.
“Time to get up, Pixie-Girl.”
“Mom, what's that sound?”
She cocked her head to one side and listened. “What sound, Sweetheart?”
“Listen.”
She went still.
“There. Hear it? That ssssss.”
She smiled. “That's the wind in the trees outside your window.”
I stood up on the bed and looked outside.
The two great trees were there in the front yard, effectively screening the house from the rest of the ranch buildings.
They were still.
Then I heard it again. Ssssss.
This time, I noticed some movement in the huge branches. Slight. But there if you looked.
My trees were speaking to me!

Throughout the years, they continued to speak to me.
As we all grew older . . .
Sitting there in the great Canadian woods, surround by the massive evergreens, I was a little girl again, lying in her bed.
With my mom busy in the kitchen.
And my trees as whispering and murmuring to me from the front yard.
The sweet sound of memories.

4 comments:

  1. My childhood home was surrounded by a spruce/pine forest, and I loved when the wind whipped through the branches of the trees. Windy nights make me sleep like a baby....

    ReplyDelete
  2. I grew up in Wyoming, and several summers we drove to Lethbridge, Calgary, Banff and Edmonton. Your poem captures being among those tall pines and rolling hills perfectly for me.

    ReplyDelete
  3. T.L. We spent a lot of time in Wyoming. Delivered a lot of cattle there. I think it's my Dad's favorite place on earth! I'm so glad you liked my blog! Thanks for your response!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can picture it so clearly. What a great memory. Thanks for linking up to the NOBH.

    ReplyDelete

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