Secrets and sighing


Long before I was born, my great grandfather tried repeatly to nuture a tamarack tree to grown close to the farmhouse.  The challenge presented by this attempt was the farmhouse was not near any sort of a swamp, damp or loamy muck that tamarack prefer.  After many, many failures, one eventually decided that right up against the chicken coop was the place to be.  The chicken coup had a slanted roof, easy to ascend from the stack of wood leaning up against the gray grained walls.  It was a forbidden hideaway, sheltered by the boughs of the tamarack, soft flexible needles occasionally ticking down on the rolled roofing.  We were cautioned never to climb up there, the roof rafters had weakened with age, and dad had concerns that we might be heavy enough to crash through.  It didn’t stop me, I loved to creep up into the cool shade, the green smell of pine, a view of the fields and forests stretching, growing off to the west.  If there was a breeze it sung softly, sighing through the branches.  A favourite place, a place of solitude, my place.   None of my siblings ever joined me, or even know how much time I spent there.  Once I shared it as a wonderful secret with a cousin and was crushed by her failure to be impressed.  It was the first, last, only time.  It was my place to dream, to read, to think, to pray, to sing along to different rhythms, to spy on the phoebe that had her secret place below and inside where chickens once crooned over stone eggs and scratched straw for sustenance.

Isaiah 44:4   They shall spring up like a green tamarisk, like willows by flowing streams.