dwellers in a wood almost every species of tree has its voice as well
as its feature." Thomas Hardy
..... A two-fold voice. The one, external, played to such effect by the wind even the slightest breeze will begin the whisperings, whilst the stronger the gusts, the more vociferous the voices, from chorus to cacophony.
And then the inner voice. Contained within these sounds, within the soughing, sighs, swish and skirl, cracks and creaks of limb and leaf, the enigmatic meaning. Inaccessible to most people, elusive even to the initiated, to be understood on an intuitive level rather as you might attune yourself to the undulations of a foreign language. Better heard if you are not listening, more tone than content, conveying moods ranging from playfulness to rage.
Like any wild creature, Tansy had absorbed the nature of trees without thinking. Surrounded by their steadfast presence from infancy, they were to her as extra parents, guardians of place. She felt as safe within the enveloping branches of the ash which grew within yards of their cottage, as on her mother's lap. Indeed her mother would direct her play using trees as markers. "Stay near the ash." "Don't pass the beeches." "Keep clear of the laburnum."
To the only child of busy parents those early days from dawn to dusk stretched before her long and empty. The openness of her childish mind in searching for companionship, encountered the possiblities of trees. Her imagination, unfettered by convention, imbued them with personalities. As each day passed and routines were established she would run from one to the other in busy fashion with her playthings of sticks and stones, chattering to each tree in turn.
They, in response to this outpouring of affection and attention, slowly revealed their inner nature and, although she did not realise it at the time, laid before her the guide lines of their wisdom.