The numerous weeping willows of Central Park have caught my attention in the past. A recent stroll, for me a walking meditation, led me to a particularly impressive specimen. There is some lesson for us, I believe, in the willows tenacity to live.
Weeping willows are massive, mystical, haunting and sublimely beautiful. They reside at the edge of the parks various ponds, pools and lakes. In particular I have noticed that they frequently slide or tumble forward into the water itself.
Perhaps the weight of the rapidly growing tree, shallow root system, its massive leaf burden and the wet soil contribute to this toppling over.
But of significance is this–though they may topple over, the trees do not die. They continue to grow despite assuming a horizontal position. Their tenacious roots hold onto the earth from which they emerged.
What's more. Side branches which now extend towards the sun begin to grow. They gradually begin to appear as separate thick trunks. But underneath they are still offshoots of the original.
They have changed their form. In their initial fall from the skies it might seem as if they have been defeated, undone by their own nature and the environment they inhabit.
But in the span of time it becomes clear. They are still alive and vibrant. Merely changed.
They adapt and live. They have changed but are robust and undaunted.
A profound lesson for us all.