The powerful whooshing sounds of feathers were steady as the majestic mated swan couple landed on the still lake. The breeze was light and cool on this early autumn morning. The pumpkin vine was near its harvest as it tangled and wove along the open field of long grass surrounding the lake.
The wise and ancient willow tree grew weary of her heavy branches as they slumped closer and closer to the ground with each passing year. Her roots dug deep and were sustained plentifully by the lake with whom she befriended when she was a seedling.
She has a mournful demeanor. Looks can be deceiving. She was giddy at the chance to shed her tired branches. The winter was her time to sleep, and she loved nothing more than a cozy nap and a deep slumber. The summer demanded her to sprout new leaves. They acted as sails in the wind and her branches felt like the wings of her swan friends. She always felt young when her branches could play. The autumn was when she knew, it was time to slow down and drink up for a long winter’s rest.
The girls and boys of the neighborhood came to play under the comfort of her shade. Lovers from lands unknown came to kiss in the same canopy of romance. They would carve their initials into her thick bark. She minded not, as it gave her ornate decoration. She had a small bet going every spring with the other trees in the grove on who would attract the most initials. She won most every year.
Her favorite time second only to sleep was Halloween, when the children in their fun costumes would come to her and share stories of fantasy. She would laugh so hard that her leaves would fall giving the children a healthy pile to play in.
When the cool breezes of winter came rolling in, her swan friends would take off again and fly to the warm weather. They always took care to honk a goodnight tune to her. The last of her leaves would fall and boy, did that feel good. Like a mother who returned home with too many groceries, she felt the best relief.
“Goodnight my friend,” the willow said with a smile upon her face as a blanket of snow tucked her in for a long well-deserved rest.
Sleep she did, and not once did the willow weep.