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Grandmother Willow

October 17, 2018

"What is my path? How am I ever going to find it?"

"Listen. All around you are spirits. They live all around you. In the earth, the water, the sky. If you listen, they will guide you. Listen with your heart, you will understand." ~ Dialog from a scene/POCAHONTAS @1995

Five children in our busy household would bring some creative playtime especially when they were very small. At times, prior to the "TECHNOLOGY TRUMPS ALL" era, VHS Disney movies were quite popular in my home, allowing time to attack household chores. POCAHONTAS played over and over again, as demanded by the children, most often by Becky and Kimmy, number 3 and 4 in the pecking order and just 15 months apart! This entertainment was very helpful during inclement weather, but when the sun was shining, the kids were playing outdoors! We are fortunate to have a back lot with many mature trees, strength and beauty bordering its entirety. The grandest of all, Grandmother Willow as named by the girls, will forever be a cherished memory of their childhood. Never mind that it's not a willow tree at all (that just ruins the storyline.) This tree has a hollow that if you look close enough, peer with your most imaginative mind, you will see the old woman's eyes, her nose, a sort of mouth. Just like in the movie. 

Kimmy and Becky would kneel before the tree, with their imaginative 4 and 5-year-old minds asking, "WHO wil I be? HOW will I find my path, Grandmother Willow?" I can hear their tiny voices as clear as yesterday, yet in reality, it was 20 years ago! 

The wonder of this story is as such: Becky has grown and is now a grade school teacher. Her love of nature and learning go hand in hand, as Grandmother Willow advised. Becky listened and her path was followed. Kimmy, still in the process, has become an animator with dreams of being part of bigger things to come. Film animation is just within her reach. Following her heart with a love of drawing and creativity from her imaginative mind, since the days she would sing to Grandmother Willow tree in the yard, following her path. Just like in the movie.

What is real and what is fantasy within our natural elements can very well go hand in hand. Our' Grandmother Willow' Box Elder tree has all the dreams inside just waiting for you to search them out.

This past fall, a very big wind burst came through the area and partially destroyed the tree, slicing a huge branch from its center, yet, remarkably, leaving the elderly womans face untouched. When I told the girls what had happened, both were distraught and saddened. Confirming 'she' was still okay gave sigh of relief. And in all our hearts, we understood.  

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