“Between every two pine trees, there is a door leading to a new way of life.”
A statue of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus. Little Flower School, Kohima.
Pine trees have always been synonymous with childhood for me—they remind me of the rolling blue verdant hills of my growing up years in a college campus, tucked away in a remote hill-town, where one couldn’t imagine life without trees. Mom toiled to keep a very pretty garden, which had an abundance of flowers and a riot of colours that ensured we always had ample blooms adorning our two large vases in our living room.
Of all the trees in our garden, the plum tree was a favourite with us, kids. In summers, the branches drooped with ripe luscious plums, that we picked in large bags, which was duly shared with the neighbours. In turn, we were sent fresh guavas, apricots and peaches. The plum tree also doubled as my favourite haunt, where I spent many a weekend afternoon, lost in storybooks.
When the sun would set in the evenings, we’d have had ample opportunities to traverse in and out of our imaginative worlds, not to mention our indulgences with mud, puddles, slopes, trees, dirt, sticks, tadpoles and such other things. Such a marvellously wonderful time was ours. It cost nothing but gave us so much more to cherish later.
One might say it was idyllic, but if you’ve ever lived in a quiet hill town. you’d know that was the only life one knew, thriving as one does best, in a world, miles away from the bustle of city life.
Today, I’m reminded of the mountain pines that grew aplenty on our campus roads. They lined the two sides of the road, along undulating slopes and steep hills, equally spread over rough, rocky stretches and smoothly-tarred ones.
And when I look back on those days, most of all, I cherish this special memory of the pine-lined stretch near this statue of Mother Mary and Baby Jesus, on a hill right above our school building, where we were often led by the Salesian Sisters for prayers, reserved for very special occasions.
The protocol was to be led in a line, with our class teachers walking along the fringes, right up to this vantage point (shown in the above picture), located atop a hill, which offered us a breathtaking view of the entire town. Once we reached there, we had to mumble our prayers, heads bowed in veneration, before this extremely beautiful white statue, which mostly struck us with awe and wonder!
And as I recall this, I realise how much I miss my alma mater—a beautiful convent school, and a prestigious institution those days, that I was extremely fortunate to have attended, and one that has largely contributed to shaping me in more ways than I can count on my fingers.
A photograph peeps out from the album. A barrage of memories come pouring in.
Life goes on. We move along.
Thursday Tree love is a photo feature hosted on Parul’s blog on every 2nd and 4th Thursday of a month. The next edition will go live on February 11, 2021. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog, and link it back to Parul’s post.