I was seven when we moved into a large housing track of newly built homes in Long Beach, California.
We were a sun-drenched community. There were no tall trees lining our streets, hence the wind blew through without much notice, and birds never nested or rested there.
As a result, I can honestly say I didn’t pay much attention to nature.
Then, when my wife and I settled in Salt Lake City, that changed dramatically
My wife built our home on a hill surrounded by giant hundred-year-old trees. They were close to fifty feet tall and their branches arched high over our backyard and part of our home.
When I first heard the wind blow through those trees, I had this strange sensation of being in the midst of some kind of primitive life. I felt like I was back in time thousands of years. It was unsettling . . . yet, intriguing.
I would find myself drawn to the outside when the wind was blowing. The sound moving through the trees produced a kind of sensual delight. It was intoxicating. It was like evolution moving through my body.
One night I woke up as the wind started blowing. I went directly to the bathroom where my wife had designed and built a huge no pane arch window that looked out on our backyard. There was a full moon, and I could see the trees’ branches moving in the moon light. They cast shadows against the backdrop of the night’s sky. I could see what appeared to be forms coming and going as the leaves on the branches quickly jutted back and forth against the pressure of the wind.
I stood transfixed seeing what seemed to be images of people in caps and wild animals flying in and out of the fast swaying limbs.
I began to imagine myself back twenty millennia entering the Lascaux caves of France, drawing herds of powerful animals on the walls. They were running through the fields, muscles taut and noses snorting. The sound of their hoofs pounding the ground was mesmerizing, just like the wind passing through those tall trees of ours.
Let me end here for I can think of no moral lesson to this essay. It’s simply about the trees and the wind, and what can happen when you’re caught off guard listening to them make haunting sounds.