Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Speaking Tree

My Trees . . . and some of their brothers
It was lovely and cool for my walk this morning.
-2C (28F), which is, I admit a little cool for the 3rd of October.
It's been worse. A few years ago on the same date, it was -28C (-18F) 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 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 whispering and murmuring to me from the front yard.
The sweet sound of memories.

10 comments:

  1. Beautiful memories Diane.....they do bring tears to our eyes don't they?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Precious memories. More than worth a little leakage from the eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds, and scents, and flavours, and pictures - all can unlock those memories in an instant, can't they? What a lovely memory this one is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jenny!
      The neatest thing about it for me is that we have a lot of evergreens here and whenever I walk by them, I hear that sound. And immediately am immersed by those peaceful memories. So it happens a lot.

      Delete
  4. You transported me to that bedroom and turned me into a little girl again. Thank you for the memory, and the journey.

    ReplyDelete

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