The Willow’s Room
There is a weeping willow tree beside the pond where the dogs swim on our morning walk.
Though not as big, it reminds me of the willow in our backyard when I was a child. The leaves
and branches of that tree arched softly to the ground several feet out from the trunk, creating a
private room lit by the lime-colored light of the sun through those hanging boughs. I would sit in
safety and solitude in that soft green light, leaning my back against that wide trunk. That is
where I talked to God.
I remember one particular day when I was about 6. Crying and angry during my forced piano
practice, I pounded the keyboard clumsily as Mama beat time with her palm on the top of our
upright piano. I hated it. It felt like she was trying to beat the music into me. Exasperated, Mama
ended the session. I ran to my tree. In that private and comforting space, I made my first bargain
with God. I would never ask for anything again if only I could quit piano lessons.
It worked! Somehow I was able to quit. At that moment I released the music archetype and
switched to the visual arts. Mama and Marty continued to create beautiful music on that sturdy
old piano and I was given the freedom to draw. Mama arranged for me to take painting lessons
from a colleague who saw the spirit I put into the animals I drew. Those lessons I loved. Practice
was play and no one had to beat time for me.
I am amused to say I have not lived up to my end of the bargain I made in the willow’s room.
God is amused as well and keeps on granting wishes and answering prayers with an artistic
twinkle in his eye.
Hi Kate, I have a little piece I think your Christian sponsors might like. This is from the memoir I hope to publish this year. I have a photo-montage I am attaching called “Talking it over with God” Also here is a graphic I created for the story. The willow is by Monet. I changed it up a bit and added the child.