The Pines

There was a very special place just about a block from our childhood home on the dead end street in Shrewsbury that very few adults knew anything about. You had to trudge through a field of brush on a narrow dirt path to get there, close to Mr. Thomas’s fenced in back yard. Right at the back of his property was a grove of huge white pine trees planted as buffer between those homes and the Union Electric substation. My mom would tell my sister and me to go outside and play, and we would happily steal away to our hideaway which we called “the pines”.
The trees were planted in two rows, so there was no underbrush beneath their expansive limbs, just lots and lots of brown pine needles. We pretended we were pioneers or kids like Laura Ingalls Wilder. We each chose a tree to be our home and we would cut a pine branch for a broom and get to work. We would sweep all the excess pine needles into a circle around the circumference of our house so the floor was smooth, cool dirt.
We then collected pine cones and rocks and wildflowers from the area to decorate pine tree homes. We brought our dolls so we could take care of them, as all good little mothers would.
No matter how hot it was on a summer afternoon, it was always cool and shady in the pines. Often the gentle whir of the breeze in the branches high above our heads was the only sound except for our girlish chatter.
Of course, there were birds swooping through the trees and new nests to discover in the spring. We had no plastic toys or gimmicks of any kind – just the gifts of nature and our imaginations to fill our afternoons in the pines.
One of my readers recently told me that the bluffs I describe so often in my blogs seem magical. I believe nature is magical if we are open to her beauty and the lessons she has to teach.
To this day my sister and I fondly remember the pines and talk of going back there and revisiting that place. I know it will seem so different at first, until we let our spirits quiet and experience the serenity of their shelter.


2 thoughts on “The Pines

  1. Gwen I enjoy your musings so much. This one brings back childhood memories for me as well. We had a cluster of huge pine trees in our neighborhood too and spent hours under the branches in our “secret hideaway”.

    • It is so cool to know you had a similar special place. It is so wonderful to remember those very special times. Thanks for reading my blogs. I feel so fortunate to know that some people are following them.

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