Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Who Weeps For the Willow?

When I was a kid I remember someone telling me about weeping willows. There were many of these trees in the small town where I lived, but the one I remember the most was gigantic. Someone, probably my Grandma but I can't remember if it was her for sure, told me that whenever one of a weeping willow's branches grew long enough to touch the ground someone died. This old wive's tale stayed with me and I have always noticed upon seeing one of these trees how many branches touched the earth. I remember trying to pick which branch might have been my Grandpa's branch, on that gigantic willow in my small town. I wondered how to know which tree held each person's branch. When we moved from that small town when I was eleven, we moved next door to a house with another gigantic weeping willow. I thought about what I had been told and wondered what would happen if someone cut the branches before they could graze the grass. What if they were just trimmed a bit? What would happen then, would something worse than death happen if they were tampered with? I never cut the branches, although I would gather those that fell after a storm. I didn't do anything with them I just piled them together and thought about the lives they might hold.
Frost, do you think that there is a special weeping willow out there that is tiny? I tiny, tiny tree whose branches touch down very soon. Is this the tree that holds all of the babies? There must be one somewhere.
I drove by our old house today and looked to the neighbor's back yard where the willow stood. The tree was there but it looked ill, like a leaning shell of what it had been. I could not tell if this was due to winter's shadow being cast upon it, or if it was dying. What happens when the tree that holds the lives of so many, dies its self? What then, Old Wives?
Night night Frost
Mama loves you?

1 comment:

  1. Lovely. I've always loved weeping willows. Knowing the old wives tale, and the questions you ask makes for a thoughtful morning after reading your letter to Frost. Thank you for sharing them with us. (hugs)