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A Curly Willow Tree from God

Two weeks ago, I was driving through the countryside. It was a perfect sparkler of a day; the green golden corn stalks were breezing against the azure sky. Everything was invigorating. I had my windows down and music pumping. As I wound around a bend, in an instant, I spotted a curly willow tree, glowing green and dancing in the light air. The thought flashed through my mind: “Oh, I love curly willows! I would really love to have one in my garden someday!”

It was not even a prayer, just a thought. But all is prayer really, and God heard my heart’s dart of a whisper.

Later that day, in the evening, I drove an hour to pick up a rabbit hutch for my new bunny. I entered the facebook marketplace seller’s driveway surrounded by a garden haven. The hutch needed a little repair, so Mr. Hubby came out to fix it up. Meanwhile the Mrs. gave me a tour of her garden. Her beds of hostas, her huge holly bush, and… two curly willow trees!! I could hardly believe my eyes! They are such a rare breed. I’ve only ever seen them maybe three times in my life. And now, twice on the same day! I exclaimed with delight: “Oh curly willow trees! I love them so much!”

She led me closer to the trees and starting rubbing the leaves and smooth, spindly, winding branches. “You know,” she said, “you can propagate these trees very easily! I’ve snipped branches before for friends. You just put them in water and wait for the roots to sprout and then plant them in the soil.” “Really? Wow!” We went on to look at her viney tomatoes. She gently and caringly pruned as she went along.

Finally I worked up the courage. “Donna, would it ever be possible to cut another branch for propagation?” I felt shy asking. She jumped right in with cheer: “Oh I already have a whole bucket full of them, and their roots are nice and healthy! Ready to be planted! Please take one! Select the one that calls to you.” WHAT?! JOY!!! Delight! Merriment!
How did this happen?!

On the day I saw a curly willow tree and desired one for my backyard, it was given to me! Just like that. My heart was filled with joy as I chose the one destined for my front yard. “How much may I give you for this baby tree?” “Free of charge! Please just take it and enjoy!” Wow!

God, you really do hear the tiniest whispers, the flash of a desire, the passing millisecond of a thought. If you are this attentive to my yen for a curly willow tree, surely You hear the deeper aches of my heart and are vigilant to answer them just around the next bend in the road.

My curly willow tree is now rooted in the earth. She is a happy icon to me that God hears my heart’s faintest cries, cares deeply about the desires of my heart, and can satisfy them at the drop of a hat… and a curly leaf.

Copyright 2022, Marian West

Marian West is a Catholic “heartist”, seeking to live the art of heart to heart in every encounter. She lives in Lancaster, PA, and is grateful to have recently opened a space called Marigold, offering the Grace of the healing arts. Marian is a modern dancer, vocal artist, licensed massage therapist and labor doula. In 2006, Marian received her B.A. in Dance from DeSales University and then received her massage training at the Swedish Institute in Manhattan in 2007. She served as a missionary with Heart’s Home in Brooklyn for 14 months, offering a presence of compassion to the abandoned, lonely, and suffering. Marian prays that the Blessed Mother be her heart, hands, movement, and melody to touch Christ’s broken body in our thirsting world.

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