Curly Willow

Curly Willow in Spring It rained last night.
The ground is muddy and the grass squishes in places
but the world has been washed clean once again.
Thousands of diamonds hang from the Willow tree
reflecting the morning sunlight.

I love this Willow tree.
Its a Curly Willow (Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa') and stands outside our front window.
In summer, it is grace dangling down, waving in the breeze,
providing shade and beauty in one grand gesture.
In fall, her leaves hold their green color until late
then turn a lovely yellow and slowly fall to the ground.
In winter, the contorted shape truly reveals itself
and the light shimmers off the bare branches.
The winter storms blow bits of her twisted branches all over the yard.
Its spring now and she has on her lime green catkins
along with her bright new green leaves unfurling.

I don't know her herbal medicine yet.
I've used that of her cousin, Purple Willow (Salix purpurea).
The Purple Willow was supposed to be a shrub
maybe ten or fifteen feet tall
but it turned out to be more like twenty and growing when we moved.
It too was incredibly graceful and beautiful.
I didn't have the heart to cut it down even though
it was in the wrong place and needed a good haircut.

Salix purpurea catkins
Just 10 drops of the tincture of her green tips help
to take the edge off the pain in my hands.
That's a good thing.
I once heard the catkins are good medicine
to offset the raging hormones of teenage boys.
Looking at a picture, you might understand why.
I once made a tincture of the catkins
but it got lost amongst all the other bottles in the apothecary.
I found it when we moved this last summer.
By then, the teenage boys in my life were revealing themselves
to be handsome young men, hormones a bit more in check.
My intuition about the emotional effects of Wilow?
Calming, relaxing, helping one to appreciate the beauty of nature.
And, beauty she is.

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