Lessons from nature. Are you at breaking point? Is it time to bend like the willow?

A current theme of mine is, “Rigidity will break me, be like the willow.” As someone who likes to plan and be organized, experiencing a spanner in the works can be paralyzing when it happens.

Life loves curve balls and if I only dodge them and run from them I know I will miss out on so much (if even I get hit by a few stray balls in the process). And anyway who the hell wants to live in that much fear?

So I am (re) learning to bend. I think of the willow. I have loved weeping willows since I was very young and we had one in our small back garden. My brother and I would chase Squire, our golden lab, round and round the tree. We called the game, “Barmy.”

I remember the way the leaves shimmered in the early evening sun and rustled when the winds came through. My dad would regale stories of the willow tree when as he rubbed linseed oil into his cricket bat-also made of willow. He would show me the marks the leather cricket ball would make on the wood, little smooth divets, tiny impressions that carried the memories of matches gone by. Runs won and stumps lost. All on that one cricket bat made from a willow tree.

If you have never been under a willow tree, it is quite an experience, first of all it is called a weeping willow. As a child the idea that the tree was weeping fascinated me. the bendy branches grow as though going skyward and then curve over and cascade toward the ground. We would sit and peel the bark from the bendy branches that couldn’t be snapped like the branches from our apple and oak trees.A brownish skin covering bright green softness underneath. The branches were bendy and they sure were strong..

No longer in England, I have not seen a willow in long while, but I still remember her beauty and strength. Even more than that, her capacity and tenacity to yield and bend not break to whatever comes her way. I think of my own life and the curve balls that come at me, and how I now choose to embrace my inner willow and bend with the wind.

I go back to where I began, “Rigidity will break me, bend like the willow.”

How do you embrace your willow nature so as to bend but not break?

Bend on!

Sat nam

  1. Frances Outer says:

    This is so profound and so beautiful! Thank you for sharing it

    • Shiv says:

      Ahh I am glad it spoke to you, the Willow has been a profound teacher in my life, so grateful to have you to share with. Sending love and apologies for not seeing this sooner. Happy holidays, Sat nam Shiv