Sunday, March 10, 2013

Under the Willow Tree

So here I am, sitting at Starbucks, trying to get some work done, and then it happens. I lift my head to look outside, and what do I see? Besides a parking lot, that is, I see snow. I see dreary grey skies. I close my eyes and envision the snow plow on my street yesterday afternoon, causing me to rush out and move my van. I can see myself walking to yoga class, my feet having difficulty in my boots finding any solid ground; just ruts, from snow melted, and then frozen again, covered with more and more snow. And my heart sinks. I think to myself, I have had enough; I’m done with the snow, done with the cold, done with the lack of sunshine.

I can remember nights I walked to yoga, with a smile on my face, in the darkness as I look at the glitter of the snow, the twinkle that the street lights offer to the new fallen flakes. That love affair was over weeks ago. I need sunshine on my shoulders, tanned skin, and golden hair. I long to feel grass on my bare feet, soil from my garden under my nails, sun shining hot on my face, giving me that summer glow.

Today, I am reminded of a summer day, last year, in one of the most beautiful places I know. Peachland, British Columbia. My girl and I drove to Peachland from Kelowna to spend the day on the beach. We packed a lunch, took our books, camera, our blanket and nothing much more than that! I parked the car and we headed to the rocky beach. Anticipation was building as I gazed past the beach in front of me to see the mountains, surrounding the wide open body of water, a calmness came over me. Haley didn’t like the beach very much because it was rocky instead of sandy. I loved it. I don’t care for sand much; it gets under my nails, in my hair, and on my blanket! We took a quick swim to cool off, before having our lunch. I remember reading for only a short while, before complete relaxation took over my body and mind, and I sank down into the blanket, playing with the grass on the ground above my head. Within minutes, Haley said to me “uh mom, look at that!” I lifted my head and looked towards the mountains to the blackest sky I had ever seen in these parts. Seconds later the wind came with a fierceness that took us by surprise. After gathering all of our stuff, throwing it in the car, we ran to the coffee shop!

We sat there, on the patio of the coffee shop, watching as the worst storm of the season, ripped its way through our beautiful, tranquil Peachland. I watched the willow tree, its sinewy limbs swaying with each gust.

Some might think our day was ruined, but it was far from ruined, it just turned out differently. It may have only been a few hours we spent in Peachland, on the beach, at the cafe, walking the shops and sitting near the Willow Tree, but it was enough time for me to fall in love. I fell in love with a place that felt more like a home to me than I have ever felt anywhere before.

It has stayed with me, that wonderful feeling.

I don’t sleep well, and one night, something in me was pulling, and I got up, grabbed a pen and paper, and these are the words that came out, all the while, that beautiful, wonderful, willow tree, illuminated in my mind.

You are a touch away

Yet I cannot reach you.

I want to whisper, so only you will hear;

By the guidance of the moon

Meet me, under the willow tree.

When you reach me,

Hold my hand in yours

With the other, touch my face and

Kiss me once, kiss me twice

Take my breath away with your love

When you come to meet me,

Under the willow tree.

I have no idea what it means, if anything, but they were the words there, inside me.

Still to this day, I can close my eyes, and see that beautiful Willow Tree.

When winter seems long, it is that day that I think about.

I hope whatever part of the world you are in, sunshine is falling upon your face when you read this!