Monday, July 13, 2009

Willow by the Cleared Bank

I am fortunate enough to live just 15 or so minutes outside Boston, but still be surrounded by nature. Every day, on at least one of our many walks, the puppy and I take to the Charles River Reservation Walkway.

We pick one of the entrances along Pleasant Street, walk to Bridge Street, cross to the other side of the river, continue to Watertown Square, and loop back to exit the same way we entered.

The lookouts along the river are plentiful.

The dam, with its feathered occupants, is spectacular.

But the place that draws us back time and again is the Willow Tree by the cleared bank. We stand and watch the river rush over the Willow's roots. When the river is high with the rains the drooping branches of the Willow dance along its surface. In sun, our Willow provides a shaded respite. It is impossible for us to pass by without stopping.

I do not see sadness, only beauty and strength in the Weeping Willow. My first reaction is to smile. I believe it may have been misnamed.

The Willow is mysterious, resilient, and adaptable. It even grows, though considerably shorter, in the Artic Circle. The Osage Indian Tribe has a parable about the Willow.

Growing up, I spent much of my time in the woods and along the banks of the pond behind my house. As a child, I remember being asked time and time again if I might like to be a Botanist when I "grow up". It seems I am given to a curiosity towards and love and reverence for trees, flowers, and nature in general. This may sound strange, but do you have a favorite tree? If not, do you have a place like the Willow by the Cleared Bank, that moves you?


  1. I do have a favorite tree - though it doesn't grow where I live. The Japanese Stewartia. I love the texture of the bark, the vivid colored leaves in fall, and the stunning though short lived show of blossoms. Absolutely gorgeous. Of trees that do flourish here, it's the ornamental plum with it's stunning pinkish blossoms in the spring.

    There is a river walkway near my home as well. We love to wander and find any little cove amongst the scrub oak to take off our shoes and wade through the little stream that parallels the river. It's fed by a gorgeous snowmelt induced waterfall and actually maintained by the city to encourage wading. I can spend hours at any little place along the Provo River Parkway and feel energized, renewed, and increased mental clarity. It's one of my favorite places on Earth.

  2. I don't have a favourite tree, but there is a small lake near my grandparents house that really relaxes me... sadly I can't visit very often now!


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