As I sit here at my desk, a gust of wind rattles and shakes the window. Long willow leaves blow by; I can see them floating in the air. The morning sun is shining through the golden leaves of our weeping willow.
It won’t be long now; soon the back yard will be covered with a soft blanket of snow. The first snowfall often arrives before the last willow leaves have fallen.
The willow tree in our back yard is one of the reasons we bought our house. This tree wasn’t the only reason, of course; this house was in our price range and had enough room for us. The large, green weeping willow we saw through the kitchen window pushed Ed and I toward the decision to buy our house.
Squirrels scamper up and down and around this tree trunk. Little girls cling to the branches hanging down, run around and around, and laugh at the leaves brushing their faces. One day, I heard the screech of a red-tailed hawk. I looked out the window and saw it perched at the top of the willow. I have even stood in our driveway at night and heard the hoot of an owl, which I imagined was in our willow tree.
The willow tree is always in the background, always in view, staunch and steady like a faithful sentry.
This tall, tall tree has been struck by lightning. It has withstood extreme bursts of wind and days of blizzard. It has been subject to a chainsaw many times. We have it checked by our “tree guy” often.