nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

in the shelter of the lane

with 6 comments


Now, when the trees are shedding their foliage in yellow, red and orange, have you taken the time to stroll down a lane crackling with dry leaves? 

 

1 lane  n.  1: a narrow passageway between fences or hedges;

2: a relatively narrow way or track …

2 lane  Scot var of LONE

 

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 1979

Words are so laden with connotative and denotative associations, those similar in meaning may not convey the same idea at all.  For example, the word ‘lane’ is vastly different in meaning from ‘road’, yet a lane is a type of roadway.

A lane, to me, is a narrow corridor, built to admit people from the ordinary world of community to the private world of home.  A lane is bounded on each side by trees, hedges or fences.  A proper lane must have ruts for the tires and a centerline of grass to challenge the clearance of any vehicle.  Once you are in the lane, it is difficult to see anything outside.

 

When I was young, visiting my mother’s family took us to ‘the old home place’.  It was sandwiched between the main road and the river, but because it was connected to the outside world by a long, bent, shady lane, it was truly a ‘world-apart’.

I spent many happy hours in the lane, wandering up and down its length, singing and dreaming, exploring and examining.  I loved the small woodland habitat created on either side.  I picked the wild blueberries growing there, watched squirrels busy at the workings of their pine-cone industry, and made friends with specific trees. 

One young Silver-leaved Poplar (Populus alba L.) was a particular favourite.  It stood just before the bend in the lane, its bark marked with black diamonds.  When the wind blew, it turned its leaves over in a generous offering of silver.

I have other pleasant associations with the lane.  I remember my Dad working there with a shovel and a pickaxe, trying to fill in the worst of the ruts to save the undercarriages of his car and trailer.  I remember listening to my Mom’s stories of how she and my aunt pushed their doll carriages up the lane to visit imaginary neighbours.  I remembered how excited we always were to see the gate at the end of the lane wide open, since that meant my aunt or uncles were at home.

 

lane

trees along the lane

sentinels

to guard its ways

            cone scale mounds

            acorn stashes

            the silver undersides of poplar leaves

            doll carriages with squeaky wheels

            blueberries in slants of light

~

the lane a wooden shelter 

            its base the rutted track

            its sides the trees, muscled arms 

            branches overhead with fingers locked

~                    

charmed paths

moss tablecloths 

fairy rings and follows

protected by

the closing of eyes

 

©  Jane Tims 2011

Written by jane tims

October 23, 2011 at 7:54 am

6 Responses

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  1. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a lane with a strip of grass down the middle of it. “charmed path” – yes! I can almost hear two little girls chattering away as they pushed their doll carriages down the lane, squeaky wheels and all…

    Like

    Barbara Rodgers

    October 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

    • Hi Barbara. My sister still has my mother’s doll carriage, so I can hear those squeaky wheels whenever I want! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      October 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

  2. What a beautiful post today, thank you!

    Like

    C.L. Sostarich

    October 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

  3. What a great post- I think we share a love of words. Loving the photos too!

    Like

    adriennemariez

    October 23, 2011 at 8:45 am

    • Hi. Thanks for the comment. Words are definately worth exploring… their sounds, their origins, even how differently they are represented in various dictionaries. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      October 23, 2011 at 9:26 am


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