Willow Tree

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I’ve been saving this story for today. I hope you all enjoy it.

Willow Tree

By: AC Hoekwater

I stood in my favorite spot overlooking over the devastated backyard. The once tall and graceful tree now lay in pieces. Parts of the tree crashed over the kid’s swing set. The rest of the tree fragmented all over the grass. The storm had taken both out at once. The kids cried over the loss of their swing but I am shattered.

My husband slid his arms around my waist. “It will be okay,” he says. He just doesn’t get it. I fell in love with the tree first, house second. He remembered the mess after each storm and knowing the wood isn’t good for much, not even burning. He’s glad to be rid of it.

tree-204297_1280I heard a door slam outside. “They’re here,” my husband kissed my forehead and abandoned me to my grief.

I heard them laughing and joking outside. The tree killers. No, that isn’t fair. The storm did the damage, the men are just here to clean up the mess. The clatter of machinery reached me. No one understands.

I remember another willow in another backyard. Long before my world was irrevocably changed, I’d played under its branches all day. Mom knew where I could be found, always hiding, always safe.

I heard the chainsaw start, the loud rumble made me jump. The men began to take branches down, one by one. My husband stood watching, helping where he could. I wanted to look away but couldn’t as bit by bit the tree came down. The broken branches soon stood in neat piles, the men cleaning up as they worked. “It will be like it wasn’t there,” my husband said when I’d expressed concern over what to do with the remains of the tree. As the chainsaw work began on the main part of the trunk, I couldn’t watch any longer. I crawled into bed, still hearing the noise but no longer able to see it. I waited, hiding.

My husband found me in bed curled under a blanket. “Get up. They’re gone and I’ve got something to show you.” He stood patiently waiting while I extricated my self from the cocoon I’d built. He took my hand and led me into the back yard. All I could see was the strangeness of the empty landscape.

“Where do you want it?” My husband asked. I turned to look at him, “Want what?” “This.” He pointed to small willow sapling in a pot standing near the stump of the old tree. “I just need to know where you want it and I’ll get it in the ground.”

I smoothed my hand over the trunk and small branches. “Beautiful,” I breathed. “Wherever you think is best.” Smiling through my tears, I watched him begin.

 

Victory

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This post is a day late for a normal update but the letters just worked this way.

The A-to-Z Challenge

There are just a few days left of the A-to-Z Blog Challenge and I am still excited about it. I find myself wondering what I’m going to do when April is over. Looks like it is time for some serious blog planning.

I like the momentum I’ve found in this month of writing six posts a week. However, that is a lot of posts. Its a struggle at times to make sure I have a post each day. Coming up with topics has been challenging but still this has been a positive experience.

Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp NaNoWriMo has been a success also. Though I am not done with my novel, I have met my goal. Here is the badge to prove it:

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No, my novel isn’t done. Most likely just under halfway through. I have a lot of work to do. But it has been fun.

Even though I have still have one more challenge, I’m still going to celebrate my success. My plan is continue with my novel until I finish. Of course there are two more to work on to complete my series. It never ends.

At this moment, victory is sweet.

Unless it Moves the Human Heart

It is spring in my part of the world, though the snow I’ve found on my car for the past couple of days would beg to differ. One of the good things about snow this time of year is that I know it won’t last.

I must, grudgingly, admit that it is beautiful.

I spent some time with friends last night at a cabin on a small lake. After spending time together, I spent some time gazing at the lake.

With all of the ice gone, the lake rippled gently. Against this backdrop, the trees that lined the lake were dusted in snow. The contrast between the nearly calm lake and the snow was incredible. It reminded me again of the beauty of our world.

There are a lot of things that are ugly in this world but for that moment, it was beautiful. I wish I had taken a picture of the lake.

Instead I have this picture of some of my favorite people whom I shared that moment with:

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This is one of the reasons I write. This is how I make sense of my world and the things I see. I am moved by the beauty of a snowy, spring lake, the company of friends, and the cry of a baby. These are the things that move my heart.

What things move your heart?