I’ve driven by this willow countless times in the past thirty years… and never once noticed it—not enough to have it register ... as anything special, anyway. Just an ordinary weeping willow among others on the edge of a lake.
If I saw it at all, I looked beyond it at the view of the sparkling lake, reflecting the life on its shores, the island in the middle, and of course, jet skis, motorboats, and kids fishing on the banks.
But in the midst of a recent snowstorm that was busy erasing all familiar landmarks--including the lake--the tree stood alone against a background of white. I saw it—really SAW it--for the first time. How had I never noticed this tree with its delicate, graceful branches spread protectively over its two small companions?
Despite the fact that it was snowing heavily, and plows were fighting to keep roads clear for those of us who needed to get batteries because the power was out, I slowed, then turned around and went back to look … and of course take pictures.
But I know it’s not ordinary. I’ve seen its soul. I'll look for it now whenever I drive by. It'll join the rest of MY trees that I "visit" as I drive or walk through town.
I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines. ~Henry David Thoreau