The Big Epic

Connecting with Nature - One Adventure at a Time

Weeping Willow — Tree of Comfort

What do you think of when you see a weeping willow tree? For many people, these drooping trees remind them of grief and crying. For me, these graceful trees bring a feeling of comfort and contentment. Why the difference? I have happy memories of spending many hours under giant, peaceful willow trees.

When I was growing up, we visited my grandparents in rural Minnesota every summer. The house filled up with cousins, aunts, and uncles. Sometimes I loved the chaos and the fun. Other times I needed an escape. The giant weeping willow tree behind their house provided both enjoyment and respite.

drooping tree branches, willow fronds

The tree was so large that its drooping branches swept the ground. The quiet, green grotto around the trunk was a perfect place to hide for a raucous game of hide-n-seek amongst the cousins. Other times it made a quiet hideaway to sprawl on the ground and read a book. For that matter, it was a calming place to just lay there and stare up into the branches that were softly dancing in the wind.

Eventually, the family farm was sold and my grandparents moved to town. I could no longer go outside and stand under that venerable tree when I visited them. It felt like something was missing from the family gatherings.

Many decades later, my husband and I moved to our own little farm. The bank of the pond was a perfect place to establish my own weeping willow tree. It was ironic that only days after the sapling was planted, my grandma passed away. The new willow tree has grown and spread. Its drooping branches now sweep the ground. It still transports me back to those days of fun and comfort for a young girl amid the chaos of gathered family.

serenity, tree planted by the water

Read about special trees HERE and HERE. Do you have a childhood memory of a favorite tree? I would love to hear it! Please tell me about it in the comments below.

5 Comments

  1. So I have had similar memories. Only it was a farm we rented in rural MN that had the huge Weeping Willow. I used it for hiding and as a play house. I did not see any for the longest time in MN and it made me sad. Then all of a sudden, they started appearing again and I love that I get to see them all over the place again but long to have my own little farm to plant one of my very own. Or maybe the farm would come with one already built in.

    So my question to you is where in rural MN did your grandparents live?

  2. Jill, Your post of sitting under the Weeping Willow reminds me of my feelings re. B-52’s. Do you remember those big military planes? They had huge droopy wings. In the 50’s they flew directly over our house in Wichita, KS. They made me feel so safe because I felt like they were protecting our country at a time when Russia’s Kruschev was threatening he was going to overtake us. Later in life, I was able to walk around and under those wings – and the beautiful feeling of safety again surrounded me! Thank you for sharing re. the willow. ❤️ Sharon

    • Awww…I love hearing your story. It’s always a gift to be reminded of early memories of safety and calm… May we each find ways to keep those feelings in our daily lives today!

  3. Cool. I’ve been through Brook Park many times on my way to the in-laws cabin in Wisconsin.

    I love that we all have so much in common with our likes. I guess that’s why they say, “you see a stranger and decide that yep that’s the one…. that one is going to be my friend.” 🙂

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