The Willow by Fia Goudes

The Willow
Fia Goudes

A young child approached a weeping willow by a pond one day.
“Weeping willow, you are strong,” the child said. “You do not break. As time continues, you stand tall. So why do you weep?”
The willow wept and looked down at the child. “Do you believe that crying is weak?” it asked as it shed some of its leafy tears.
The boy nodded. “Yes. Mother always tells me that big boys ought not to cry.”
“And do you believe your mother?” the willow asked.
The boy hesitated. “I do believe that I should.”
The tree might have nodded; only trees do not nod. “And indeed you should, child. But in this instance, you should not believe that big boys should not cry.” The tree wept, its leaves floating down both upon the surface of the pond, landing on the water and causing ripples, and upon the boy, landing in his hair.
“Why shouldn’t I believe her?” the young boy questioned curiously, brushing off the leaves impatiently. “Father never cries. And neither does my brother.”
“You must not resist the wind. If you do, you will break,” the tree explained. “You must bend to it instead.” As if to prove its point, the tree leaned slightly sideways in response
to a sudden small breeze.
The boy nodded obediently as he listened, skipping a rock into the pond below the willow.
“Holding in the tears fills up your insides. It leaves you unable to move in the wind, and if you do not bend, then you will break,” the tree informed the child. “Crying allows the tears to escape your body and flow into the ponds and rivers and oceans that fuel life.” It gestured around at the world around the two, a leafy branch waving gently in the breeze.
“Without the tears filling you up, you are lighter.” The willow shed a few more tears. “It empties the stiff sadness out of your body and makes room for more flexible happiness and
contentment. Then you will bend and not break.”
The boy nodded, amazed.
“Do you think crying is weak now, child?” the tree asked.
The young boy shook his head. “Certainly not, willow!” he exclaimed. “I see now. Crying is strong. It lets you move in the wind and makes room for happiness. I shall cry more now.” And the boy began to cry right then and there, letting out all of the tears that he had been told to hold in since the day he was born.
The willow smiled and wept alongside him.
So the boy learned to bend in the wind and not break. He planted his roots and stood strong as life went on. He learned to weep. And the weeping willow continued to cry, shedding its leaves into the pond below.

Fia Goudes. Composer. Playwright. Musician. Actor. Author. Dead (handbell) ringer. Full-time professional dork. If you’re looking for Fia online, you can find her at the links below. If you’re looking for her in person, good luck – she’s probably hiding and snuggling with her bunny.
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