I grew up underneath tall pines. Back then my circle was small, but mighty.
As children, we few played together in pinestraw, we braided the strands, wove the pieces into our hair…at Christmas-time we collected pine cones and sprinkled the edges with glue and green glitter.
As young adults we parked our cars beneath the pines on fall evenings and did things that young adults do under the cover of the conifers… only to come home, pick up our princess telephones and call each other to relish over the shared details.
As middle aged women we raked and burned and dealt with the sap…the never-ending sap that was so hard to scrub away…and we watched our own children braid the pinestraw and collect the cones…and we remembered when.
As I bid a final farewell to one of my original crew this evening, I’ll always remember her referring to me as “Florida Girl”, a full 30 years after I moved away from beneath those southern pines. Space and time occur. Distance, not so much.
Prickly, the pines if held too tightly…but the fragrance of evergreen and the whispers of the wind through the pines are freeing, if we only allow them their breath, their place.
Keep your circles small, and your friends close. And never, ever forget the smell of the pines.