It is officially done. The stump is ground and the mulch has been scattered. Wyatt's Willow is no more. I have carefully replaced his garden decorations and cautiously unburied the plants which were just starting to reawaken after a long cold spring. I hope they all will come back to us but it's too early to tell. Hope extends now to the new tree, Wyatt's Prairie Reflections Laurel Willow. So named because the leaves are supposed to glimmer like mirrors in the sunshine. Our newly planted willow is a bit bare right now so that much remains to be seen. It feels good to have something different, yet special, in the ground.
My husband confided that he also felt relieved to have another tree in that garden. He spent many hours out there cutting the tree down himself and chopping the trunk into manageable pieces. He cut off two special pieces which are now drying out for us to keep as remembrances. Silly maybe, but not to me. That tree was supposed to outlive me as I have outlived Wyatt and while I have no ill feelings toward it there are a lot of complex emotions. The tree is what tied me to this house. It was planted less than two months after we moved in and only three months after Wyatt died. It was a great period of transition. I had my first baby. I buried my first baby. I bought my first house and moved in. I began my career after finishing school. I hadn't even been married two years. That tree grounded me to a place, to a point in time. It felt good to know that I wasn't the only one grounded by that willow. That I'm not the only one who will miss it's rough bark and weeping canopy that just barely tickled the ground when left untrimmed. It's almost painful to look at that area of the yard from my kitchen window.