Lake Stevens 1976: the willow cradles 4 year old me one spring day, daddo raking at the grass below. Whistling leaves collide by the hundred, percolating white noise previously unheard and unexplored. Little meditator stumbles onto a high road he'll revisit often. Running fingernails across brown corduroy makes a rzzz sound that's kind of similar but different. Sounds like drums a little. Blackie dog at the foot of the tree: scratch scratch scratch.
Edmonds 1981: trapped in church. A strategy forms: halt the parsing of the actual boring words and focus on the satisying sounds of the s's percussing off the mic and bouncing off the concrete church walls. They make rhythms. Each inhale sweeps across the space. There are little coughs and random baby cries that sometimes interesect with the words, lending odd drama:
Christ has died (Baby: "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa^^^aaeeeeee?")
Christ has risen (Adult: "Achoo! HAwwwwwwwwwwwk Thooo." (into kleenex we hope))
Christ will come again ("AHEM. AHEM.")
Bainbridge 1977: A piano shows up and there's a 45 on the record player, Mary Hopkins "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end". I figure this song's from the 1800s, and maybe from that movie Fiddler on the Roof. It is played over and over, mom can't be satisfied with just one spin. She leaves and I discover the 'N' in between 33 and 45 which will keep the sound up, but disengage the motor. I manage to find the 'la la la la' part at the end and play the record back and forth. La. Al. La. Al. Then I am paddled with the wooden spoon, lightly but not too light - I don't mess with mom's record again. But! I hear a skip I put at the end and hear the backwards Alll's in my head when mommo spins it - way worth it to hear my destructive improvements to Mary's composition.
Lake Stevens 1976: the Giving Tree is solid out front in my head whenever I hit the cradle of the willow in our front yard, and I plan to be a writer someday, maybe to complete the sequel, where the kid learns to listen from the tree.