When I lived at home in my early years, we had several trees in our yard - fruit trees, citrus trees, blackberry and loganberry bushes (not really trees). Along with the vegetable garden these were very important in providing my family with food throughout the year.
The plants in the yard were tended to with great care to ensure that they were loaded with fruit which was used to make jam, bottled fruit, and swapped with the neighbours--not only to have more varieties of fruit, but to help those who were not fortunate enough to have trees in their yards.
Over a couple of days the fruit would be picked and washed, and then at night the kitchen table was set up for action. Dad cut the fruit in half, my youngest brother would remove the stones, Mum used to neatly sliced the fruit, my other brother used to put these slices in the glass bottles, using the end of the wooden spoon to lay them neatly on top of one and other, and when checked that all was OK by Mum, I would pour the syrup into the bottle ready for Dad to put the lids on and seal before putting them in the pot to cook on the stove. It was a team effort, lots of fun and we used to talk and laugh about our efforts. It was even nicer to eat the fruit during the year in the desserts and cakes Mum made.
Also, there was nothing nicer than coming home and being greeted by the smell of jam cooking in the large pot on the stove. What good memories. The safety of my childhood home.
As I was the only girl in the street I always joined in with the boys, billy carting down the hill, playing cricket till dusk, riding bikes through the drains and, of course, climbing trees.
We lived near a recreation ground and there was a row of pine trees down one side of the property. We climbed these trees, going from one to the other, racing to see who could get to the end quicker, sometimes taking our sandwich lunch, sitting and eating them while balancing on a branch. Also, whilst hiding in the tops of trees, thinking no one would see us, we would drop bits of branches and pine cones onto unsuspecting people who were walking along the path under the trees. What fun! I would walk under the pine trees if I was walking home alone, either during the day or at night, coming home from work or a night out. Nobody knew I was there and I felt safe.
Trees played a part in my later life. When my partner was alive we used to stand under a tree on the property where I worked and lived, sometimes during the day watching the birds, cattle in the paddock, cars on the property, but mostly at night, watching the stars move across the night sky, both of us watching the world go by with arms around each other, another safe place for me. A very special memory. This is my safe place to be when meditating or thinking of my partner.
Yes, I now realise how important trees are in my life. Thank you