This is a willow tree.IMG_2163

When I was a little girl, I used to roll snowballs and hide them in the nook at the base of this tree. I jumped to reach the willow branches and pulled them down, ripped them off, and then tore the slender leaves into strips that I wrapped around my fingers.

Last week, I drove by the tree for the first time in more than fifteen years. I didn’t know that it would look like this.

When I mentioned it to Mom, she said, “Oh, yeah, that’s been like that for a long time.”

I don’t know what happened to the tree. The farmhouse where I lived from birth to age five has been completely remodeled, but the wraparound porch is recognizable. The barn has collapsed and looks in worse shape than the willow.

There is an essay here. I just haven’t found it yet.