Reading to a Willow


One evening last Summer, as my husband and I took a walk around our neighborhood, we stumbled upon a beautiful sight. Coming up to the home of one of our favorite families, we noticed Gwen , their 4-1/2-year-old daughter, sitting under a weeping willow tree. She had a large book in her lap and was reading aloud.

I greeted her and asked what she was doing. She told us she was saying goodbye to her dear friend the tree and reading it a story. The willow had leafed out in Spring, along with millions of purple violets under the branches, but then it began to lose all its leaves. Her parents found out the tree was dying and decided to have it cut down.

We knew how upset Gwen was by the tears in her eyes, but she remained loving to her tree. We had always enjoyed this young girl’s spirit and tenderness; watching her sit and care for a tree on its last night standing touched my heart.

It’s Fall now. The tree is gone, and the family is moving. But I will never forget that beautiful image of a small child showing us what love from the heart looks like.

—By Susan Newman of Marthasville, MO.

Girl Reading under a tree

This article was published originally in 2022, in GreenPrints Issue #131.


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