Sunday, January 4, 2009

My Willow Tree and I. It's a Love-Hate Thing.

I LOVE my willow tree, April through October. The rest of the year, not so much. My willow tree is HUGE and beautiful and has provided many lazy summer picnics under it's beautiful canopy. I really do love it. But, then November comes and all the leaves are gone. But not just the leaves, tons of branches come down too. My back yard is about a half acre and the ENTIRE thing is covered in willow leaves and branches. It doesn't loose all it's leaves until the end of October, sometimes early November, which is about a month behind when my other trees loose theirs. I find myself doing all my normal yard work in October, raking leaves, preparing for winter, just to find that a month later it looks like I've done nothing because that's when my willow sheds.

But by November I'm starting to get ready for the holiday season, the days are shorter and colder and raking leaves is not at the top of my priority list. So I usually end up not getting to rake up my willow leaves and branches until almost spring. I was lucky this year (well, if you can call it lucky). We had a beautiful 65 degree day in January, so I hauled my cookies outside for some hard labor. I figure it'll help me shed some of those holiday pounds. Several hours and huge piles of branches and leaves later, I still have a huge mess in the back yard. But, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and my willow tree is starting to grow on me again. I love playing with my son under the branches of that tree. It's big enough that we can play baseball in it's shade during the summer, instead of in the hot sun. When I was a little girl, I loved swinging on the branches of the willow tree in my grandfathers back yard. Inside the branches of a willow is almost like your own little fortress, a protective, beautiful bubble. It really is a gorgeous tree and I just have to remind myself that anything worth having is worth all this extra hard work. It really only takes me a couple of days to get everything cleaned up. But, because I usually can't get to it right away and it sits for months at a time, it seems worse than it is.

This morning I thought, "My next house will only have magnolia trees and evergreens!" But this evening, while thinking about all the beautiful memories the willow tree has brought me, I decided that no matter where I live, I have to plant a Willow.

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