(A story by Marilyn Jones read at the November 2016 Family Day Service)Silver birch

Once upon a time a baby was born in a house with a beautiful garden, full of flowers. And there, right in front of the window where the baby slept was a beautiful young silver birch tree.

Whenever baby Silvie was fretful her mother would take her to the window or sit with her under the tree and sing her this song:

Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby to sleep.

Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby to sleep.

She will love the song you sing more than angel bells that ring

Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby tonight.


And the leaves of the silver birch rustled with a long sigh in the gentle breeze as the mother rocked her baby until she fell soundly asleep.

Even in the winter the mother would take her baby to the window and sing the tree song, and the baby would gaze at the wind blowing the branches as she sang.

The baby grew and grew into a little girl who talked to her tree every day. She listened to the sighing sound of the leaves, hearing the voice of the tree spirit and remembering the song her mother used to sing to her.

So when she heard a rustling sound walking back from school one day beside a high bank in the lane, she just had to run up the little dirt path there to see what was making it. Oh what a wonderful sight met her eyes – a field of warm golden barley swayed in the breeze as though all the little stalks were one, a rippling sea of gold in the sunlight set against the clear blue sky beyond. Silvie never forgot the magic sound it made, the little voices she seemed to hear saying – hear - us, we – are - here, I am here I am I am here we are all here. She stood for a few moments, very still, just to watch the shimmering flowing movement in the warm gentle wind, and listen to the whooshing sigh of the corn stalks.

When her mother called her Silvie didn’t want to leave this beautiful sight. Her voice was all trembly as she told her Mum all about it, and asked how the corn came there.

We all know don’t we, about the farmer and his seeds sown into the ground in spring, watered and fed by the sunlight and soil to grow up, first green in the early summer, then ripening to gold, all ready to be harvested and made into bread.

A few years later Silvie and her family had to leave the house to live somewhere in the town with a much smaller garden. She looked out of the window for the last time at the beautiful Silver Birch feeling quite sad. Just as she turned to leave, she noticed a little sapling rooted in amongst the tiles on the roof in front of the window. Because it was winter and the leaves had all fallen, Silvie couldn’t tell which tree it was, but a voice seemed to form in her head saying ‘It is part of me, your tree, it is part of me....’ She knew this must be the voice of the Tree Spirit.

Her mother came in just then, and she saw it too. ‘Oh,’ she said, ‘that looks like a silver birch sapling. I wonder if we could take it with us...’ . Mum found a trowel and pot with some soil, and very carefully loosened the tile to retrieve the little tree. They planted in the new garden in town, right opposite Silvie’s window. And sure enough the next spring she could see it was a new Silver Birch.

It took many years for the tree to become as tall as her first tree, and by that time, Silvie had a baby of her own. The very first night at home after her baby was born, she sang her mother’s little song.

Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby to sleep.

Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby to sleep.

She will love the song you sing more than angel bells that ring

Whisper tree lovingly soothe my baby tonight.