We used to live in Starke, Florida an eighth of a block from the railroad tracks. The kids were fascinated. We moved there when I was very pregnant with Joshua our third. Jody and Cory would jump out of the bathtub to see the train go by and when Josh was born it woke him up. When Bethany came along it didn’t phase her. There was probably so much noise in the house what was adding a train going to do? I used to wear earplugs and later I learned if noise bothers you you may have magnesium deficiency…bingo! We had a few trees in the yard but not much to hear the wind blow through.
One time when I was a teenager we visited my aunt and uncle in the snow belt near Buffalo, New York. They had snowmobiles and Uncle Miles taught us to ride. Seems the main thing was to keep moving. We rode up a big hill at night where a large stand of pine trees were. The trees were so tall that it was easy to get underneath them and they were covered with snow hanging on the branches. I went in under and laid down in the snow and looked up through those majestic trees to the starry sky above them. Wow…food for the soul.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn we moved from beautiful upstate New York, across from Lake Champlain to Houston, Texas. My skin rebelled to the climate change, and so did my heart until I found refuge in a little wild spot where a road used to be…briars and wildflowers grew there I was there one day and I saw some birds called scissortail flycatchers doing their mating sky dance. It was so fascinating to watch. I renamed the apartment complex the compartment complex because really that is what it was. The trees were saplings. One day after our daughter was a few months old my neighbor and I took her two boys and my little girl to a nearby park. By this time I was definitely tree deprived…we only had one vehicle so I was basically stuck. We sat at that park and thankfully there was a breeze. It blew through those pine trees, (I think they were loblollies), which had no low branches but were tall and straight with high branches that let their music be heard as the wind passed through them. Deep sighs followed, dry wells filled up…I need trees.
In Kansas, ( I have lived a lot of places) there were fields and fields with a tree here and there. At first it all looked flat but as you studied it there were dips and slight rolls where mule deer hid and where prairie dogs took over. When I was in Texas, I had to learn to not compare it to beautiful upstate New York but to see the beauty it held wherever I was and I learned to love it. The same lesson would be applied here. The wheat and sunflower fields carried the windsong here and the shape of its strength was seen at a lower vantage point as it pressed on the wheat and sunflowers while flowing over it, with the blue sky for a backdrop. The trees in the occasional fencerows were like sentinels watching over their wellbeing or just old fogies seeing what was happening next, a bit of refuge for the birds.
Palm trees in Galveston, Texas, and in Florida give a different feel altogether like upside down exclamation points of how much fun it is in the sun and sand. Live oak trees, with Spanish Moss draping down bring a lazy feeling with lots of shade and canopy and sometimes a lazy breeze sifting through.
I used to have a house with tall pine trees that greeted me and a little field like Kansas but now I live in a house with a constant view of trees. It is a simple little house with a galley kitchen and an L-shaped living dining area and it has nine windows in the L. The best part is that it is surrounded by trees…mostly pin oak and two dogwoods. But sitting on the couch and looking out it feels like it is a treehouse. Now I have a front side view of the various windy songs, vigorous songs of stormy days and nights, stillness, soft songs like lullabies. It is a treasure when home is a treat but when it is not we must go out and find our soul’s food and not ignore it’s hunger…at least not ignore it forever, letting the past memories satiate our need until we get to taste again. Remembering who we are, taking time to wake up the things that make us who we are, not in a selfish way but in a “love your neighbor as yourself way”, It takes me two weeks of give, give, giving and not taking any time for me to think I am losing it…and then I realize the problem…I forgot to take some time for what makes me me…anyway……