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Rated: E · Prose · Nature · #1783729
A Willow, fallen in the storm, is mourned.
My family and I awakened to the sound of sirens warning of the storm racing our way Tuesday morning.

We surveyed the wildly tossing trees from the safety of the front porch. We were excited by the energy of the wind. Suddenly, a gust blew over the back of the house and onto the porch skidding furniture across toward us. We quickly moved to grab the chair cushions and retreated into the kitchen.

The ferocity of the gust was astounding. I wondered if the old maple tree in the front yard would stand against its strength.  The maple had been progressively losing limbs in recent years, and had several excavations from squirrels and woodpeckers riddling its larger branches. As suspected, when I left for work later in the morning, a large limb lay in pieces in the front yard near the maple's trunk.

A more surprising, and saddening victim of the storm was the large weeping willow in the open land across the street from our house.

The willow was  mature and stately. I enjoyed looking to it each spring as a harbinger of the season with its bright yellow buds proclaiming winter's surrender. The willow had abundant, full branches that swept the ground and made a great hiding place for children playing amongst them.

The willow was lying on its side as I drove by on my way to work following the storm. It had snapped off near the base of the trunk.  I stopped when I saw it and sat in sadness knowing it would not, could not be replaced. A source of beauty and joy was lost.

The cleanup crews will be around in coming days removing the branches and feeding them into a chipper. The stump will be ground out and the area smoothed over. Grass seed will be planted.  Another willow will not be planted.  They are commonly viewed as pests. Their hardy, spreading root systems seeking out water disrupt man-made drainage systems. They are therefore unwelcome, and rarely planted.

I will miss the tree next spring. Another smooth manicured lawn is scant replacement for the beauty of the old willow.

Lost in the storm: a lovely willow.

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