| Quote #4
Next to my favorite sugar maple tree beside the barn is a tall aspen. When I was younger, I heard the most beautiful birdsong coming from the top of that tree. It was not a call; it was a true birdsong, with trills and warbles. I stood beneath that tree for the longest time, hoping to catch sight of the bird who was singing such a song. I saw no bird – only leaves waving in the breeze. (16.10)
When was the last time you noticed birds singing? Sal has such wonder for the natural world around her, and it seems to have started at a very young age. She even knows the difference between a birdcall and a birdsong. Plus, her vivid imagination makes it seem like the tree itself is singing. What a mysterious occurrence.
| Quote #5
The longer I stared up at the leaves, the more it seemed that it was the tree itself that was singing. Every time I passed that tree, I listened. Sometimes it sang, sometimes it did not, but from then on I always called it the singing tree. (16.10)
It's almost as though this tree has a life of its own. It's a magical tree! Sal seems to be very connected to this tree and to the songs it sings. Is it a source of comfort? Of joy? Is it just a matter of curiosity?
| Quote #6
That day I climbed up into the maple and watched the singing tree, waiting for it to sing. I stayed there all day and on into the early evening. It did not sing.
While the singing tree has been a source of comfort and wonder to Sal, it becomes a source of pain and sadness when it does not sing. This seems to be an example of how nature can be cruel just as often as it can be kind. It's almost as though Sal feels like, in addition to her mom leaving her, the tree has left her, too.