Today’s MOSTLY TRUE SHORT: The Old Willow Tree

She stands a silent sentinel, worn and scarred but still proud. Just like the decaying, abandoned mansion that she guards, both are mere vestiges of what they must have once been, many years ago. I am their next door neighbor.

I have given this ancient Weeping Willow tree a female persona because she reminds me of a woman — an old woman. Her bark is worn and craggy, much like the skin of an old matron who spent most of her life laughing and smiling, perhaps too much. Her thick trunk (at least what’s left of it after weathering a lifetime of storms) is topped by hair represented by drooping boughs of thinning limbs.

Like the once glorious home that sits behind her, she has been battered by the countless seasons she has witnessed. Missing a major branch or two, one can only imagine the history still contained in her silent embrace.

Sometimes I wonder how much longer can she last. I question how much longer EACH can last. Someone does just enough maintenance on the old mansion to keep it from collapsing. But, after every major storm we encounter, another piece of the willow seems to be on the ground instead of the tree. Most recently, another huge limb was sheared off by the intense winds of the latest Nor’easter.

So, after I shook the cobwebs from my head from being awakened the other day by the sound of chainsaws coming from the direction of the willow, the thought that it may finally be the end of my old friend coursed through my brain. It brought on a feeling of real sadness — after all, she my have been a bit broken but she was not BEATEN.

The heavy sawing continued for some time before it stopped suddenly. For all that time, I could not bring myself to go to the window to witness the demise of my friend. It was something I simply did not need to witness. I figured that when I walked into town I would survey what was left of her and pay my respects.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I cleared the trees obstructing my view of the area to see that the Willow was still standing! All the workmen had done was clean up the large broken limps that had fallen after the last storm. The old gal had made it — again. I couldn’t help but smile, because:

Where there is life, there is hope.