Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Willow Weeps

When I was a little girl, a friend of my mothers' had a weeping willow tree in her back yard, and when we would visit, I loved to take along my dolls and hide beneath the long, draping branches. The rustling of the leaves would whisper along with my make believe play, safely camouflaged amongst the dancing greenery.
I remember thinking to myself that when I grew up, I would absolutely, no doubt about it; have to have a willow tree in my very own yard. And then...I grew up... and when we were pregnant with baby #2, we bought a lot in which to build a house upon. All that I really wanted for that house was gingerbread trim, and...a willow tree.
She was barely more than a twig when lowered into the ground, but quickly, like our family, she grew, providing a cool, canopy of shade over the boys swing set.
I cried one winter, staring out the back window, as her branches cracked under the weight of a relentless Kansas freezing rain. The next spring, I watched and waited... breathing a sigh of relief when I saw tiny new buds lining the lemon yellow branches that swayed in the breeze. Seasons passed, and she was lush and vibrant, resplendent and strong.
We had a late frost last spring, nipping the tender shoots that had just burst forth, and she bravely limped through the hot and humid summer. Yet another winter has gone, and as a new spring approaches, her naked limbs hang grey and lifeless. My poor, sad willow tree.


Beautifuldreamer said...

Early in my childhood when my parents were still together, before my abuse began, we lived in a house that had a huge weeping willow tree in a corner of the backyard.

During summer months I spent hours beneath its shade, playing tea with my dolls, sometimes inviting a neighbor kid over to join me. Her family had recently moved over from England; I remember how funny it was to me when her mother would call her at 4:00, like clockwork, with, "It's time to come home for tea!" I thought that was so cool, that they would just drop everything and join together for daily tea. I was wistfully envious at how colorful this made their family!

I still miss that weeping willow, so I understand the attachment you have to yours. There is something nearly hypnotic about sitting beneath one and watching the branches gently swaying, and the sun glinting off the leaves.

Ah, to be that little and contented again!

Anonymous said...

willows are strong and you