Wednesday, March 23, 2016

When the Willows Bloom

This popped up on my FB timeline today.

The willows I wrote about have budded and are nearly in full leaf and as I re-read this post from a year ago, I had a new reason to celebrate God's goodness.

There were two trees in the front yard when we moved into this house thirteen years ago. It would not be an exaggeration to say that they both looked like they belonged in some haunted forest.

The one next to the driveway appeared stunted, with gnarled, twisted branches, and every summer would produce bitter-tasting, inedible berries which resembled tiny, marble-sized persimmons.

Which, when they fell, made an ugly, smeared. red-yellow mess on the driveway.

The other tree grew in front of the front bedroom window. It too was unattractive and prone to dropping sizable branches on the lawn for me to clean up. It bore apples, small green apples the taste of which tended more toward a mouthful of dirt than any sort of apple.

At one point, a whole section of the tree collapsed across the lawn and into the street. The remainder leaned threateningly toward the house.

So when Gary (our landlord) came to cut down the apple tree and asked if we would like the other tree gone as well, my immediate reply was, "Yes, please."

The two willow saplings which took their place were an immediate source of joy to Joycie and me, but especially to her.

They looked rather forlorn that first winter, desolate limbs drooping leafless to the ground, or whipping about in the bitter wind.

But they were the first trees on this block to bud and bloom, and every spring, she would always say, "Look, aren't our two trees beautiful?"

I thought of that as I looked out the window from the kitchen table and saw the green appearing on the long slender branches.

I thought of the joy that something as simple as two willow trees in bloom can bring to a grateful heart.

Spring is here again.

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