Really, it’s anybody’s guess whether my willow plantings will be a grove someday or not. There’s definitely signs of growth in numerous whips, much more than last year evinced, but still. It’s such a harsh environment up here, until the trees create their own shelter and the succession of plants accumulates behind them. Some willow whips are struggling, fighting the good fight, and working diligently to grow. Many have fallen by the wayside, consumed by rabbits or deer, or just environmental attrition. Good thing I planted 165 or so of them, then!
But the joy I am ever-so-slowly developing, like an anxious mother hen, only perhaps extended to about ten years of gestation, is that particular joy when, as I hope, I might look at a grove of willow, waving robustly in the breeze, soaking up endless gallons of water from the run-off down the fellside before it merges into the Swinhope Burn and a few metres further into the River East Allen . . . <gasp for breath> . . . that joy will be a kind of long-lived epiphany if it really does happen.
In the meantime, I wait in anticipation, nurturing that fledgling joy. <cheep, cheep!>
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