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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Willowing. By John von Daler

                The tree was my friend. I don't know who planted it or when, but one day when I was nine I noticed it standing there in our backyard in #Tulsa. Immediately we took a liking to each other, the #willow and I.

                On hot days when the temperature would be about 45 degrees C, I would take my book with me and walk under those trailing branches with their light, delicate, pointed, chartreuse leaves. The light from the sun would filter through the leaves and sparkle playfully on the ground and the trunk.
                I was a tall kid with no great bodily poise, so I appreciated the convenience of the friendly limbs of the willow. They were close together, just big enough to hold my weight and just supple enough to allow me to bend this way and that to get up to the top. Taking a book with me I could almost glide up to the top, as if invisible hands were reaching down to help. I would find a branch to sit on and a trunk to lean on and then read my books for hours in the flickering light.
                Our cocker spaniel would come by on his inspection tours and sniff curiously, look up the trunk and whimper a bit, but even he figured out that I was in safe keeping. When Mom would call for me to come in I would usually wait a while in silence, just to enjoy the secrecy of it all. Passersby on the street by our lawn never discovered me either and from the tree I could eavesdrop on Oklahoman grownup small talk.
                I have heard adults who are separated say, Well, we just grew apart, about their relationship - or lack of one. I always believed this to be a too facile way of describing a more complex situation. But I could use the expression about the willow tree and me. We just grew apart. Now I am too tall and too heavy to climb willows. The limbs grow too close to each other, the entertwined branches do not help me up, but actually prevent me from entering.

                So I have to walk around here on the ground missing the sparkling, chartreuse light and the delicate rustling breeze. But the memory lives on. No wonder they call it a weeping willow.

                My book "Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude" (WiDo Publishing) has received seven five-star reviews and one one-star review. But to get the sales moving I need many more reviews. 
                If you are interested in music, violin playing, free will, and storytelling, then you probably would like reading the book.
                Please contact me through google + (John von Daler), if you would like to read "Pieces" and to review it. Or buy it yourself at, at your bookstore or at

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