A Message from the Weeping Willow

Carol A. Hand

Once I was young, a mere sapling in this northern clime
nestled comfortably in the embrace of my soul mate
Our trunks touching, our roots and branches intertwined
We grew wide and tall gracefully trusting in our loving fate
Silent witnesses to so many changing times

***

Willow - February 15, 2012

Willow – February 15, 2012

***

We weathered frigid winters, autumn storms and summer drought
Blooming hopefully together each spring for almost a century
Now I stand alone, a silent sentinel filled with doubt
realizing in these changing times there is no certainty
pondering deeply what my life was really all about

***

Willow - May 6, 2016

Willow – May 6, 2016

***

I’ve watched children walking past me on their way to school
To many I was invisible though I gave them air to breathe and shade
Most were blessed with curiosity and light, but a few were dark and cruel
I sent them all loving energy because that’s just how I am made
I’ve seen the light dim in many over time because the darkest tend to rule

***

Willow - July 18, 2016

Willow – July 18, 2016

***

All I ask in the years that remain is for someone to hear my song
To gently touch my weeping branches and lovingly caress my aging frame
I’ll weather more storms but I know now it won’t be long
Please listen to the wind as it speaks through my leaves while I remain
Take time to stand silent beneath my protective shelter, strong,
at one with peaceful loving nature where we all belong

***

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About Carol A. Hand

What matters are not the titles I’ve held or university degrees I earned or the size of a house or bank account. It’s really what I’ve learned from ordinary people like me whom I’ve met along the way. They taught me to live with gratitude and give thanks for each new day.
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27 Responses to A Message from the Weeping Willow

  1. Thanks, Carol, my old pappy and I have been busy worrying about the new “administration,” so your plea from the Weeping Willow came to us as a sweet reminder that “this too shall pass.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so good to hear from you, Buster. Thank you for your comments. These are challenging times, and I appreciate the work you and your pappy do to keep track of what’s going on. I don’t have the ability to listen or think about such mean-spirited disinformation without experiencing feelings of despair and hopelessness. I try in my own humble ways to keep hope alive so you and pappy can come visit and have a brief respite.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We and trees are much the same. Beautiful, touching poem, Carol. Makes me ache.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely. Reminded me of some seventy odd years ago, my friend had a Weeping Willow in her back yard. One day we all carved our initials in the trunk. I wonder if it’s still there.
    Thank you for the memory. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind words, Patricia, and for sharing a long-ago childhood memory. I hope your friend’s willow tree is still there, although the average life span for willows is 50 years. Old trees are 70, and only a few live to be over 100. (Your story inspired me to look up this information on the internet.) Knowing this inspires me to see if I can count the annual rings of the tree that needed to be taken down. Given the diameter of the trunks, my guess is they are very old trees. But I will have to wait until spring thaw to find out. 🙂

      Like

  4. kethuprofumo says:

    Dear Carol,
    thank you for translating a wonderful willow story. It occured: Wind that speaks to the leaves, telling stories that no one believes, Stories of love, belonged to you and me… Dindi, Tom Jobim’ song.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. joanneeddy says:

    Lovely, Carol! I am reminded of the story of Baucis and Philomon in mythology, the elderly couple who entertain Jupiter and Mercury , sharing the little they had. Their blessing/reward was not being separated by death, but turned into embracing trees. Your poem is so touching, sad, a lament and yet a celebration of the gift this Willow has given , once with their mate and now carrying on alone. Truly moving. So glad you shared this. Jo

    Liked by 3 people

  6. inesephoto says:

    Beautiful story! I think that everything in the nature has memory. Trees live a long life, and they must remember a lot. I definitely feel that trees are accumulating energy. I have spent many hours in the forest, and I know it is a living body. My grandma and I would go berry picking, and she would make me leave my first handful of berries on the forest floor to show my gratitude. So I do all my life 🙂 When I pick up some blackberries, I always drop the biggest one as a thank you gift 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for sharing your important insights and delightful childhood memories, Inese. Leaving gifts to give thanks to nature for her bounty is something my Ojibwe ancestors passed on to future generations, too. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  7. wolfegeo says:

    Carol, I’m a sentimental old fool. This had me in tears. Reminds me so of the story of the giving tree. Beautifully written.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Rivenrod says:

    Beautiful.Saddening. I hear the hollow yowl of the wind.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. steelcityman says:

    Oh ! We hear your song Carol…we hear your song. Philemon and his wife Baucis sprang to my mind too as I read your words. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Pat, at the risk of repeating myself too often, I’ll say it again. It’s always a delight to hear from you, a dear friend across the big pond. Thank you for your kind and lovely comments. Sending my love to you and your wonderful family. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. joanneeddy says:

    Carol, I also meant to tell you yesterday a bit of folklore from my heritage. A little like Native American tales, many Polish folktales explain nature. This one is an explanation for the catkins of the Pussy Willow: a long time ago a Willow stood on the edge of the river. A mother cat gave birth in the hollow formed by her roots and the kittens played beneath her shade. One day the kittens were chasing a butterfly and fell into the river and the mother cat jumped into the river to try to save them. All were being swept away by the current. But the Willow could not let her friend drown and reached down her branches till they trailed in the water and the kitten and their mother grabbed the branches and were saved. Every spring after that, the gods blessed the Willow with tiny furry tips on the ends of her branches in honor of this and Polish people give gifts of pussywillow branches the Monday after Easter recognizing Christ as being lifesaving like the Willow. Just thought you might like this. Jo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jo, this is such a beautiful folktale. I love it! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story passed down by your Polish ancestors about how the willow got her catkins. It’s such a wonderful gift. You’ve given me another reason to eagerly await spring. I want to study the catkins the willow tree produces. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Annika Perry says:

    A beautiful touching poem, Carol – I do love the majesty of these trees and we had one from a young sapling in our garden and often it provided a shelter for me as I grew up and went through the normal childhood angsts. As you write: ‘Take time to stand silent beneath my protective shelter, strong,
    at one with peaceful loving nature where we all belong’ … I still stop and admire the weeping willows when I come across them.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. thejuicenut says:

    As you can see, Carol. I have Liked several of the comments here and they sum up everything I could say. I love your poems. I don’t always see them as soon as younpost them, but somehow they find a way to me at just the right time. Thank you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Finally Spring Snippets | Voices from the Margins

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