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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Willow

Weeping Willow 
Graceful and Enduring
A research of my favorite tree

“He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."
~When we built our home, we noticed a trouble spot in our side yard, a wet area where water stood and did not drain well.  No matter what drain we installed, the water stood still, causing issues with the landscaping.  I asked around,  and was told that one of the only trees that would survive there was the weeping willow.  We planted a small sapling and forgot about it.  Six months later we had a terrible storm.  We all watched out our windows as limbs were torn from trees, tables turned over by the pool, debris flew everywhere, and we even witnessed lightning striking a large Cypress in the front of our home, splitting it in two.  But I noticed something else, as well...our now, not so little Willow tree,  just bended in the harsh wind- almost appearing  graceful, as though it were dancing in the harsh storm.  That tree won my heart that night.  It made a potential devastation appear like nothing.  That tree looked like it was happy in the storm- almost as if it were singing out, “I will just wait this out, dancing and swaying, knowing that it will end soon.”  What a picture for me!   How do I wait out the storms in life?  Look at this, taken from a Celtic writing: 
Other valuable traits of the willow include its flexibility. The willow is one of the few trees that can bend in outrageous poses without snapping. This is a powerful metaphor for those of us on a spiritual path. The message here is to adjust with life rather than fight it.”
~The next thing I found in my research of the Willow is it’s adaptability:
  • Thrives in Growing Zones 4-9, and has the ability to absorb standing water. Plant near trouble spots where water stands in puddles, and watch them disappear. 
  • Even though Weeping Willows are often found near rivers, lakes and wetlands, they can grow just about anywhere, even demonstrating some tolerance to drought. 
  • Very adaptable to all kinds of soils and growing conditions; these trees can even help prevent soil erosion.
~Am I adaptable?   Am I at all like the Willow Tree?  Again, look at this interesting fact:
Further testimony to its adaptability, is the willow's ability to not only survive, but thrive in some of the most challenging conditions. The willow is a prolific grower, often taking root from a single branch that has fallen into some marshy bog.
~This reminds me of Joseph.  He was a man that was left in a “marshy bog,” and what did he do?  Joseph ended up thriving, like the willow.  He did not break, when men, (his own brothers) beat him, threw him in a hole, then sold him into slavery.  What did he do?  He worked hard, remained faithful, stayed true to God and his fellow man, and then forgave those that betrayed him!  What a symbol for us. 
 Isn’t God great to give us these beautiful reminders of His enduring plan for us.  He gives us His word, but even the word says,  “All of creation testifies of HIM.”  Today, as the leaves bloom on the willow tree in my yard, I am reminded of many truths, things that God wants me to remember; to stay flexible, that growth can come from even the smallest sapling,  that He will make sure we survive even in drought times, and that He intends to use me to prevent others erosion of faith.  I am planted here for a growth isn’t only for me, but to bring shelter, beauty, and life to others.  I love that!  I am here for a reason, planted and nourished by my heavenly father.  Thank You for that reminder today!  
Job 29:19 My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.

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