Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Monday, February 9, 2015

Tree Speak

My Trees . . . and some of their brothers
I had to bundle up for my walk this morning.
It was -28C (-19F) with a nasty, evil north-westerly wind blowing. Temperature allowing for wind chill = -40C (-40F)
I walked fast.
The most difficult part of my walk is past the south end of a wide park.
In the summer, it is truly beautiful.
In the winter, with a north-westerly (see above) wind blowing, it is an open space where the elements can really get up a head of steam. So to speak.
As with many things in life, though, once one gets through the worst, the best appears. 
Just past the park is a stand of hundred year-old pines.
Instantly, the force of the wind is lessened to insignificance.
There is only a soft 'hiss' as it threads its way through the green boughs. 
I stopped, as I do every morning, to listen.
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 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!

Standing there this morning, surrounded by the massive evergreens, I closed my eyes and 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.

18 comments:

  1. Beautiful Diane....just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel like I could actually hear the trees. Beautiful words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jennifer. It's a wondrous sound!

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  3. You have some lovely memories. I'd love to live in your head for a few days....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could you clean and tidy a bit while you're there? Oh, and I lost a roller skate a few years ago. See if it's in there . . .

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  4. A great reminder that it's the little things in life that mean the most...

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  5. That is a lovely memory to have, and it's wonderful that you are able to recall it with the help of the trees along your walking path.

    Here, we live surrounded by mostly deciduous trees, and you can tell by the sound of the wind in the trees what season it is - it sounds different depending on whether there are small leaves, large leaves, or no leaves on the trees.Those sounds evoke my childhood as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it amazing? How the sweet, gentle sounds evoke the sweet, gentle memories?

      Delete
  6. Oh that is a sound of a sweet memory. It brought back a sweet one for me. I used to love to lie down under a tree and look at the sky or if at night the stars; such peace in those lovely moments of time.
    Blessings wished for you!

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    Replies
    1. I can just see it, LeAnn! Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Such a beautiful post, Diane. Thanks for sharing your memory with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's my pleasure, Karen. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :)

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  8. "My trees were speaking to me"
    what a wonderful way to interpret the ssss!
    My oldest daughter has cottonwoods on her property and they make a wonderful sound in the breeze too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love cottonwoods! Even the name just sounds . . . homey!

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  9. You've painted such a pretty picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rena! I'm so glad you could witness it! :)

      Delete

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