Under the Weeping Willow Tree
Why do you weep dear willow? Why do your branches hang low? Could it be you know a secret….that other trees don’t know? June Carter Cash
Songs and legends abound. The Weeping Willow charms us all.
- I’ll hang my heart from a weeping willow tree, and may the world go well with thee!
- Bend your branches low down along the ground and cover me. Listen to my plea. Hear me, Willow, and weep for me.
- So bury me under the willow, under the weeping willow tree, so that he may know I am sleeping, and perhaps he’ll weep for me.
Sad words, you say? Yes, but only in poetic form. The weeping willow is a delight for the senses.
Every child knows that one of the best places to ‘play house’ is under a weeping willow tree. A curtain of rustling green enfolds you, and there is always space under its graceful canopy to set up your cardboard box furniture. And in case of attack, it become a wonderful hide-out, or fort. The weeping willow loves children.
Historical references and images of the weeping willow are found in every culture. Some of my ancestors, Native Americans, brewed a tea from its bark to relieve pain and fevers. When tea was not available, just chewing the twigs helped. Salicylic acid, the great-grandaddy of what we call aspirin.
My own willow anecdote: I had a mother who believed in ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’, and nothing delivered this better than the sting of a willow switch against bare legs. Ouch!
I was six years old and had received punishment for some misdemeanor and was doing the willow tree dance. Then seeing the dreaded switch discarded on the ground I took it to muddy place and planted it. And today?
Willow trees and moonlight, what a wonderful recipe.