Why the willow?
It is their subtle beauty, as branches reach for the sky, then fall down and kiss the ground. And when the wind blows, their branches wave softly, delicately. I’ve always felt this pull to the willow.
When I was young, my grandparents had a large willow tree in their yard. Whenever my grandfather went to cut its branches from the ground, I would beg him not to. I loved the way it fell down so completely, thickly, hiding me from the world around when I’d crawled under to its trunk.
There was a smaller willow by my old home in northern Virginia, at the playground, and I remember staring at it every day when I played or walked past it to and from school. I remember pointing it out to my grandmother when she came to visit. I remember sitting by it and writing in my diary. I remember watching one squirrel bury about a dozen nuts under the light shade of its branches.