so I can pretend someone is listening

How I love the sky!

The house I grew up in was surrounded by trees.  There was the “orchard” in the back yard: two purple plum trees, two yellow plum trees, an apple tree and a pear tree.  On the property line were 3 or 4 big cherry trees and a hazelnut tree.  The apple tree had a big old branch that ran parallel to the ground that became a horse or a magic carpet or whatever imaginary fancy we needed it to be.  At the Bay we played in the woods all the time and always had forts or castles, and roamed around for morel mushrooms and Easter lilies in the spring and blackberries in the summer.  Trees were always around, no matter where we lived.  I didn’t truly appreciate them until we moved to the farm when I was in my 20’s. 

Oh, we do have trees.  Big old oak trees that were planted by some of the first white settlers over 100 years ago are scattered around the prairie.  A few old apple trees that don’t produce anymore except enough for the birds show where there were houses once upon a time that have been gone so long that’s all there is left of them.  Out back behind the barns there’s a relatively new forest of cottonwood and maples where the deer, elk and bears hang out.  But there were no trees around my little house, and I missed them.  I missed the shade in the summer and the sound of the wind whistling through the tree tops in the winter.  I felt so exposed.  The first year we must have planted 10 trees, most of which died quickly because I didn’t know how to plant trees in our wet clay soil.  It made me feel a little better to see the remaining baby trees growing outside but it didn’t quench my thirsting to be surrounded by trees once again.  I would go places surrounded by tall trees and it would feel so refreshing and comfortable.  I longed for my own little nest in the trees.

I don’t know when things changed.  One day I was at a friend’s house in the woods and it was windy.  I noticed how uncomfortable I felt with those big trees swaying around over me, and how vulnerable it seemed that I couldn’t see the sky to tell what might be headed my way.  I was relieved to get home and watch the western horizon to see the weather coming in.  Before we moved to the farm I never knew there were so many stars in the night sky.  I love watching the tall grass waving in the warm summer wind and trying to guess the incoming weather by the clouds blowing by.  We aren’t as wide-open as the prairie states in the Midwest, after all we have our views of Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens, and the woods behind the barns stop the view to the north but the foothills on the other sides are the only things that block my view of the sky.

Today has been a wet, windy day.  March is roaring in like a lion, gusts hitting the side of the house and making the windows rattle and sending the dog scrambling under the bed because it scares him.  The cat is sitting almost on the keyboard, supervising my typing speed.  Then, like magic, the sun comes out bright and strong, the cat runs to sit on the windowsill in hopes that it will stick around for a while and the dog creeps out from under the bed.  Five minutes later, another big gust and the cat loses interest in the windowsill and the dog is under the bed again.  And I’m sitting under the cat, under the nice, warm laptop computer, watching the sky to try to guess what the weather will be like by the clouds blowing by.  I can see the rain coming across the field to the south, and it’s a good soaker because I can barely see the treeline on the other side.  I can’t imagine living anywhere else.


March 2, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment